Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission

The Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission has as its primary objective the recognition and protection of all structures in the Commonwealth which are of significance. The first step in the fulfillment of this formidable mandate is of course to survey and identify the basic resources that may be of significance. Consequently in June 1967 the newly commissioned agency began its survey of historic buildings and sites within the Commonwealth. Added impetus to this initial thrust was given by the fact that James W. Moody, then Executive Director of the Commission, and James C. Massey, then Chief of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), had agreed that the two agencies would join forces on a cooperative venture which would be undertaken by the staffs of both agencies. The result of this venture is the HABS Virginia Catalog. It was a fortuitous happening that HABS, which had accumulated a wealth of material on buildings in the Commonwealth since its last published Catalog Supplement of 1959, determined the need for a revised and updated catalog at the same time the Commission began its work.

During the course of the survey, the Commission staff members took new and more extensive photographs of the previously inventoried properties and marked the exact location of each structure or site on the United States Geological Survey maps which form the Commission's permanent map collection. In its work, the Commission staff also identified many more structures and sites of significance than were in the HABS collection. At present the Commission's files include information for more than 10,000 properties in every county and city in the Commonwealth. The present HABS catalog contains brief entries of approximately 3,800 properties, 190 of which were added to the original HABS list during this survey. While this joint Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission-Historic American Buildings Survey project was one of the first efforts of the fledgling Commission, it is only one of its far-flung activities.

The broad mandate of the Commission, to recognize and protect sites and structures of significance, has many other facets. To mention but a few, the Commission staff offers technical assistance in the fields of preservation, archeology, and architectural history; aids other state, local, and national agencies in their approaches to preservation, such as working closely with the Virginia Department of Highways to insure that preservation is considered in the face of highway development; assists communities in historic district zoning; and receives Open-Space Easements to protect historic properties from inappropriate development by future owners.

The Virginia Historic Landmarks staff was pleased to cooperate with the Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation in preparing this catalog and seeks to enhance and expand the Virginia HABS records in the Library of Congress by cosponsoring student summer recording programs from time to time. The Commission welcomes inquiries on this and other aspects of its several programs. Letters should be addressed to The Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission, 221 Governor Street, Morsons' Row, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

The Historic American Buildings Survey

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) is a long-range program to assemble a permanent national collection of measured drawings, photographs, and written data pertaining to historic American architecture. HABS was initiated in 1933 under a Civil Works appropriation. Its dual purpose was to produce accurate records of significant American Buildings and to provide employment for architects and draftsmen during the economic crisis of the Great Depression. In July 1934 the Survey was made a continuing program under the National Park Service in the United States Department of the Interior. Then, in 1935, a tripartite agreement was signed, by which the National Park Service was to administer the program in close cooperation with the American Institute of Architects and the Library of Congress. This agreement, with some subsequent modifications, remains the operating structure of HABS. The National Park Service, through its Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation, administers the program and is responsible for qualitative standards, organization of projects, and selection of subjects for recording. The Library of Congress is the depository for the records, which are serviced by the staff of the Prints and Photographs Division. The American Institute of Architects provides professional counsel through its national membership.

The Survey intends to provide a thorough and accurate picture of the builder's art throughout the United States by including as many construction types, use types, and styles as possible. Structures represented in the Survey span the period from both prehistoric and colonial times to the early twentieth century and include examples from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The collection now includes records on approximately 16,000 buildings, represented by about 31,000 drawings, 47,000 photographs, and 23,500 pages of written data. Those who are interested in consulting the records of the Survey may either visit the Division of Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress, or refer to the catalogs that have been published by the Survey. A comprehensive, geographically arranged Catalog was published in 1941; a Supplement appeared in 1959. More recently, because of the extensiveness of HABS holdings, new catalogs are being published by states and areas. To date, state catalogs have appeared for New Hampshire (1963), Massachusetts (1965), Wisconsin (1965), Chicago and nearby Illinois Areas (1966), Michigan (1967), the District of Columbia (1968), and Utah (1969). Catalogs for Maine, New Jersey, Philadelphia, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico are in progress. Most of these publications can be consulted in major university or public libraries.

Further questions regarding the consultation of records and ordering of reproductions may be addressed to the Division of Prints and Photographs, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20450. Questions regarding HABS recording and publishing programs may be addressed to The Historic American Buildings Survey, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.


The HABS Virginia Catalog lists records on more than 3,800 structures, representing the total number of buildings which the Survey has recorded in the Commonwealth. The book is divided into two sections: the catalog proper, which contains over 900 entries, and the inventory, in which approximately 2,900 structures are listed. Buildings listed in the catalog, as a rule, are more completely re-corded and documented than those in the inventory. The purpose of this catalog is to present concise descriptions of structures and the HABS records of each, sufficiently informative to prospective users for them to find data they desire and to order duplicates from the Library of Congress. Structures are alphabetically arranged ac-cording to (a) city or vicinity and (b) the name of the structure. This arrangement is found in both the catalog and the inventory. County locations are also noted. The number in parentheses following the county name is used for filing purposes at the Library of Congress. Each catalog entry also contains a precise locational description; for properties in rural areas, a nearby natural feature is listed in addition to the nearest highway intersections in order to facilitate locating properties on maps. Names of natural features are generally taken from maps issued by the United States Geological Survey. The location is followed by a succinct architectural description, noting the most significant features, and a brief historical statement if warranted. A "bibliography" of the materials that comprise the HABS records on the structure concludes the entry. The "bibliography" gives the number and types of measured drawings, photographs, and data pages and notes whether the structure is also recorded with an inventory form. Dates following the records refer to the year in which the records on the structure were made. Buildings listed in the inventory have been recorded on a single page, standard 8" x 10'/2" sheet, which provides identification of the structure, concise written historical and/or architectural data, a small photograph, a location diagram, and source references.

The HABS Inventory (HABSI) Form was developed in 1953 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in cooperation with the National Park Service and the American Institute of Architects to facilitate the recording of large numbers of historic buildings and to identify those structures that were of sufficient importance to war-rant a more extensive coverage. In 1962 the inventory form became an integral part of the Survey, and over the several years in which the inventory was conducted, many buildings in Virginia were listed. However, with the passage of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the task of gathering a basic inventory of the country's historic resources became the responsibility of The National Register of Historic Places. Subsequently, the HABSI program was eliminated as an integral part of the HABS recording efforts. Because the information contained on a typical HABSI form is necessarily abbreviated, no attempt is made herein to describe buildings that have been inventoried. Rather, they are listed solely by name and address. The HABSI forms for Virginia have been transmitted to the Library of Congress, where they may be consulted, or where reproductions may be ordered.

As far as possible the entries in this catalog reflect the latest historical research. Entries from the National 1941 Catalog and the 1959 Supplement have been updated and expanded to provide more useful information; they reflect more clearly the nature and extent of the HABS records and the architectural and historical significance of the structure. In many cases it has been possible to correct dates for buildings or note them precisely and fully. In some cases more historically accurate names have been assigned, with cross references under formerly used names where necessary. Care has been taken to avoid making or repeating errors, but if the reader detects any, HABS will greatly appreciate receiving notification.

Each building or site listed in the catalog has been visited to ascertain its present condition. In general, staff members of The Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission examined sites in the western, central, and southern portions of the state, as well as the Eastern Shore. W. Brown Morton, architect, HABS, visited properties in the northern counties, and the Northern Neck. Mr. Morton also served as coordinator for the efforts of both the Landmarks Commission and HABS. Caroline Reynolds Heath and S. Allen Chambers of the HABS Staff were responsible for the final compilation and editing of the manuscript, under the supervision of John C. Poppeliers, Chief, HABS.

The following abbreviations and symbols have been used in all of the recent Historic American Buildings Survey catalogs:
VA-100 Historic American Buildings Survey number. All structures recorded by the Survey are assigned an HABS number. These numbers have no historical significance, but serve only to facilitate processing. These numbers should be used when inquiring about a structure or ordering a reproduction.
"Sheets" Indicates the number of sheets of measured drawings avail-able for study and reproduction. Sheets are generally a standard size, 15 1/2" x 20" inside border lines. The number of sheets in the set and the kinds of drawings (plans, elevations, sections, details) are listed. Prints of measured drawings are made at actual size. size.
"Photos" ("ext. photos" and "int. photos") HABS negatives are normally 5" x 7" occasionally other sizes, especially 4" x 5" or 8" x 10".
"Data Pages" It is HABS policy to give the physical history of the structure along with a technical architectural description. Original data pages are typewritten and may be duplicated.
"HABSI" HABS Inventory forms. HABSI forms are duplicated at actual size (8" x 10'/2").
n.d. The date is not ascertainable.
NHL The building has been declared a National Historic Landmark.
NR The building has been entered on the National Register of Historic Places. (1), (2), etc. after County names HABS material is filed at the Library of Congress according to county locations. These numbers assist in locating material at the Library.

Send Comments/Questions To: Gary Stanton