Century hopping: How easements preserve times past


By Susan Horne

The Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission can assist residents turn into preservationists although dwelling a comfy daily life with all the contemporary facilities.

The commission was set up in 1962 to preserve the City of Alexandria’s designed heritage by getting and keeping easements on the interiors of historic homes, on facades and on open up areas in the Old and Historic District. An easement primarily stops the destruction of substantial inside features of a dwelling or its façade.

An open up room easement protects the gardens surrounding a historic household from encroachment. There are several places in the town that introduce the notion of productive preservation. Some residences day to the late 18th century, though other interiors reveal a totally preserved Victorian house.

Alexandra is a historic and longstanding neighborhood, with its earliest residences and churches dating to the late 18th century. Though some residences are really grand and other individuals modest but charming, they all have a story to inform. Possibly the grandest property and garden is on Cameron Avenue. It is nicknamed the Lord Fairfax Household, which honors Thomas, the ninth Lord Fairfax who lived in it from 1830 to 1846 when it passed to his son. The residence has been lucky in its subsequent homeowners and features original moldings, mantles, flooring, home windows and doorways.

The house and the yard have been under a historic easement considering the fact that 1980. Inside of the easement owners have expanded the kitchen area and up-to-date the bathrooms to create a genuinely gracious home. Some may possibly even argue that Lord Fairfax would doubtlessly approve.

Other notable households in the city are located on Cameron Road and on Lee Road. Each day from the late 1700s and have been modified over the many years with mindful consideration to preserving historic architectural characteristics.

On Lee Avenue a established of attic stairs is termed “suicide stairs.” They direct to the attic wherever household help possibly slept. The steep stairs offered a challenge equally then and now. The inside of this a few-story townhouse is sunny and welcoming. Now and in occasions past, the rooms normally hold the audio of good friends and laughter. On Cameron Avenue the house owners have been devoted preservationists. There are tales of ceilings that had been about to slide and significant restoration with new discoveries. A carriage dwelling in the again now is made up of dwelling place as the horse is lengthy absent.

Very last but not the very least amongst the residences with inside easements is a Victorian house on Royal Street. Its neighbors have been current past recognition. This house retains its Victorian splendor in its fireplaces, moldings and lace woodwork. The present homeowners are collectors of craftsman furniture which fits correct in with the shades and sensitivities of the Victorian setting up. One certain delight is a bread oven built into a radiator in the kitchen. Attention to depth right here is obvious even in the amazing curtains straight from Scotland.

The Alexandria Historic Restoration and Preservation Fee seeks to grow Alexandria’s preservation of its historic buildings and spaces. For more facts about preserving an interior by way of a preservation easement, make contact with the Place of work of Historic Alexandria at 703-746-4554.

The author is chair of the Alexandria Historic Restoration and Preservation Fee.

The photos under were being provided by the Workplace of Historic Alexandria.