Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Woodlawn Plantation

This past weekend, I attended a wedding at the Woodlawn Plantation. While not as well-known as its neighbor, Mt. Vernon, it certainly is a more beautiful building (in my opinion!). If Federal style architecture isn't your thing, the Pope-Leighey house by Frank Lloyd Wright is also on the grounds. Something for everyone!
The 126 acres that currently make up Woodlawn were originally part of George Washington's estate, Mt. Vernon and were deeded in a 2,000 acre parcel to his nephew, Major Lawrence Lewis. Lewis had Dr. William Thornton, the architect of the U.S. Capitol design this house which was completed in 1805.
The beautiful grounds are often the site of elegant weddings and it's the perfect setting for any party.
Cocktail hour was held in this side yard which has a fountain that frogs love to visit in the evening! Rib-bit!
While I can't offer a peak inside, this look into the window at night gives you an idea of the amount of restoration that went into this 200 year + old house. The last private owner, Senator Underwood of Alabama, sold the house in 1952 to become part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Keep in mind the weather in Northern Virginia is far from hospitable much of the year and it can get HOT and MUGGY. I don't know how I survived the 93 degree heat and high humidity let alone past residents in their heavy clothing and without our modern convienences.
My favorite part of the house is the bell mounted to the side of one chimney; To call everyone in for meal times perhaps? Now thats some technology (but I'd rather have A.C.)!
Visit this lesser known cousin of Mt. Vernon if you're in the DC area rather than fight the crowds at Mt. Vernon. Better yet -visit both!

11 comments:

Kerry said...

I loved visiting Woodlawn as a child and used to beg to be taken back. I guess I was kind of a strange kid.

Martha said...

I've read a lot about Woodlawn and how we missed it on a trip to DC I'm not sure -- although we did get to Mt. Vernon.

I love that style of building!

Reggie Darling said...

Thanks Stefan for this post, and reminder, of Woodlawn. I must visit it when I come through Washington again. I'm itching to do a Virginia plantation tour, maybe in the fall. Reggie

Karena said...

Amazing architecture, love the bell by the chimney. A beautiful setting for a wedding!

Karena
Art by Karena

BWS said...

One of my favorites. Thank you for letting us see it through your eyes.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Indeed, Federal architecture is my thing---it's both visceral and emotional for me---those lovely chaste attenuated details and perfect proportions married to the optimism of a new young country.

Lovely rhythms formed by the large, simply detailed windows with the panels between.

Lord Cowell said...

Wow, I had seen photos of this house before, but never knew what or where it was. I love this style of architecture. Thanks for this post. David.

Seattle Architects said...

What a beautiful piece of architecture. It reminds me of the large country houses in the English countryside.

Janet said...

Whoa Nelly...what a beautiful spot for a wedding! I just love that house...

DC by Design said...

I used to be a docent at Woodlawn, which was a wedding present from George and Martha to their granddaughter, Nellie Custis. The architecture is such that all the windows and doors open on either side of the house, producing a wonderful cross breeze, even in the summer. Plus, the high ceilings make it so that the heat rises. It's a glorious house -- I'm so glad you posted on it!

Style Court said...

Stefan, I always love your wedding posts. I think one of the most magical receptions i ever attended was along the James River at night -- Westover. Anyway, I'm looking forward to your coverage of a certain fall 2010 wedding in Alexandria!