Rarely is one able to build a new house in the core of an established historic district, particularly in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. This project was achieved by the savvy of a local real estate development couple who needed an “in town” house. Not being able to find a house they liked, the couple purchased a large property which previously had been approved for 5 townhouses and with an existing home. They divided the property maintaining the existing older home and created a single “new” lot for a new house.
Having raised their family in Alexandria, the couple wanted the home to contribute to the historic fabric of this important town.
As a prior client, we were quickly able to develop a design that met their needs as well as fit within the historic core. A well-known local precedent, Woodlawn Plantation, served as inspiration.
Rather than building on the entire site, the house was located on the corner to “hold the edge” of the street of the historic town. With the use of an existing brick garden wall, the entry to the house is through an expansive garden that also looks on to the adjacent historic dependencies.
Exterior materials include handmade brick, custom mahogany millwork and windows, limestone and custom ironwork. Interior detail was also inspired by the interior of Woodlawn.
The approval process was quite vigorous and in the end the only request was for the addition of a cornerstone to ensure the new house would never be seen as an “older/historic house so as not to confuse”. There was no better compliment we could have asked for!