The Hollin Hills Civic Association will host the 2014 House & Garden Tour for the celebrated mid-century modern community May 3 and provide an up-close look at post-war artistic expression.
The day begins with a lecture at the Hollin Meadows Elementary School cafeteria (2310 Nordok Place, Alexandria, 22306) at 11 a.m. entitled “Early Goodman Architecture and Influences through the Design and Development of Hollin Hills.” The home tour begins at noon and will run to 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 if purchased online through May 1. Tickets purchased May 2 or on the day of the tour are $30.
It’s the perfect opportunity to get an up-close and even behind-the-scenes look at one of the area’s most interesting neighborhoods.
Robert Davenport, a Department of Agriculture employee who also was a builder, conceived Hollin Hills after World War II. Together with architect Charles Goodman and landscape architect Lou Bernard Voight they started construction in 1949.
“[Goodman] tried to create an affordable housing community where the natural landscape was an integral part of each site, marrying the outside landscape with the interior of the house,” said Tania Ryan, co-chair of the Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour Committee. “Those people visiting on May third will be surprised to see how some homes have very minimalist furniture with clean lines and not allot of fuss, while other homes have incorporated their family antiques and collectibles.”
Ryan also told DCRegionRealEstate.com that the signature element to each house is the floor-to-ceiling windows that often encompass more than half of the homes’ exterior walls.
“The houses have large common spaces while keeping the private spaces smaller,” she added. “The thought being is the emphasis on family time together in a living room or family room, while a bedroom is reserved for private.”
Committee co-chair Steve Costoff noted that people are drawn to the community for different reasons—some by the architecture, others because of the closeness to nature, or the family-friendly, or political aspects of the area.
“While 99 percent of the homes in Hollin Hills are based on a few model designs, the way they are sited on the land combined with the additions residents have made over the years make each house truly unique—no cookie-cutter feeling here,” he said. “This aspect of the neighborhood is more apparent when you get to go inside the homes.”
The tour will take place rain or shine. Well-supervised children under 12 are free, and no pets are allowed on the tour. For more information on the tour and some really interesting information on the Hollin Hills community, please visit the community’s website at www.hollinhills.net.