Monday, November 26, 2012

Windsor Farms, Richmond

I spent the day in Richmond recently and drove through one of the most storied neighborhoods in the city, Windsor Farms.
Developed in 1926 by Thomas C. Williams, Jr.,  the planned neighborhood was originally meant to be created from authentic English Country houses which were to be dismantled and brought across the ocean.
Parliament put a stop to that (seriously) but 2 houses were successfully recreated from ancient British buildings and reside in Windsor Farms, both operating as house museums; Agecroft Hall, above and Virginia House, 2 above.
The rest of the houses were then designed by a who's who of 1920s (and more recent) architects and landscape designers including William Lawrence Bottomley and Charles Gillette.
 Driving through this bucolic neighborhood is as good as a house tour!
It was fun trying to decipher which houses were old and which were newer, as most are kept so immaculate that one can't age them.
 The neighborhood is an architectural dictionary of styles.
 And time periods!
 The houses range from grand estates to smaller residences.
 Everyone had a perfect yard and the old trees add so much character.
 I loved the brickwork on these tudor revival houses.
 I'm always a sucker for a white brick painted house.
 And a picket fence!
If you ever find yourself in Richmond, check out this neigborhood. Stay tuned for future posts on Agecroft Hall and Virginia House!


The Devoted Classicist said...

A most enjoyable "Windshield Survey"!

Helen Young said...

Used to live in Richmond in the late 80's are early 90's. Next time you're there drive up to Church Hill. You will love it.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Classicist: exactly what it is!

Helen, I did have a chance to go through church hill as well -beautiful area!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

A couple of these remind me of the Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg. Thanks for the enjoyable outing!

Windlost said...

Oh it looks lovely. Speaking of architectural house styles you should consider a series to educate us unwashed masses on the finer points of house styles. I finally bought myself a book but so nice to see real examples through the eyes of a knowledgable person!! Just a thought!!

Xo Terri

Parnassus said...

I would love to see the two re-assembled houses, but I'm glad that England came to its sense and put a stop to that trade. SO many old houses in America were simply razed or given to anyone willing to move them.The whole area looks like a great place to live and go for walks.
--Road to Parnassus

Anonymous said...

Virginians are very proud of their ancestral heritage, so Colonial Williamsburg and the great James River plantations are icons of architectural taste. Most of the homes in WF were built at about the same time and there are very few "new" homes. Actually, Richmonders don't do "new" very well and many of the homes are outfitted with 18th and 19th century furniture. My aunt lived on Wakefield, her home was pretty much an exact copy of a Georgian brick Flemish bond tidewater home, as well as many other homes in WF. One of my favorite streets is lined with huge Gingko trees, in the fall when the leaves turn brilliant yellow it is truly a sight to behold!!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Anon - yes -the neighborhood has an old world feel but there were a few newer houses (one or two of which were really terrible). Do you know if there is a neigbhorhood architectural committee or review board? I wasn't able to find anything online for guidelines of building within Windsor Farms.

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Anonymous said...

AD, I remember very strick guidelines as to WHO could live in the neighborhood!! LOL!! FFV's, First Families Of Virginia. "Who was your motha's family?", was a common question. Everybody goes to St. Christophers or Saint Catherines, then to University Of Virginia, has a summer house on the bay, has Virginia ham biscuits for Christmas,it's all about tradition.

And there were guidelines as to what could be in your yard as well. The area had a garden club with some powerful ladies on board. I believe my mother said it took my aunt 20 years to get in!!

Edward Bottomley was THE architect of choice, his homes were mostly in Windsor Farms and on Monument Avenue. Most of the grand homes are in the vacinity of Virginia House, then fans out to smaller, newer homes.