Midcentury Modern architecture across Fairfax County will be documented by a historic resource survey in the spring and summer of 2023. The survey will capture approximately 152 individual properties, neighborhoods, and commercial developments constructed between 1950 and 1985. The project will also result in a survey report providing a historic context and recommendations for future preservation planning projects.
Fairfax County was selected to participate in the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Cost Share Survey and Planning Grant Program in 2022. This program assists local governments in surveying their community to identify cultural and historic resources. In addition to identifying traditional historic landmarks, the program prioritizes documentation of recent past resources that represent the forefront of historic preservation.
Northern Virginia experienced unprecedented growth during and following World War II driven by the demand for suburban housing, first in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, then Fairfax County. The growth of the county, from just 99,000 residents in 1950 to 596,000 residents by 1980, demanded new subdivisions and commercial corridors as well as infrastructure expansion in the form of schools, libraries, firehouses, police stations, and other public facilities. While much of this construction adopted traditional architectural styles, Fairfax County is also home to a high concentration of modern architecture dating to this period of development. This historic resource survey will enable preservation planners to better evaluate Fairfax’s midcentury modern places for architectural or historic significance. These districts or buildings, if significant, can then be nominated to be included in Fairfax County’s Inventory of Historic Sites, the Virginia Landmarks Register or the National Register of Historic Places.
The survey will document the places listed in the spreadsheet linked at the bottom of this page. As part of the survey process, properties will be mapped and building exteriors will be photographed. This information will be used to determine each building’s construction date, develop an architectural description and perform a preliminary evaluation of the property’s historic significance.
The state hired Dovetail Cultural Resources Group to complete the survey work from the public right of way. VDHR will monitor the project through its field office in Stephens City.
The draft survey report will be available for public comment in fall 2023. A public meeting will be conducted before the project deliverables are finalized.