The Alexandria Association is the city’s oldest organization devoted to the preservation of Alexandria’s historic buildings, landscapes, records, and antiquities; and to education in the decorative, fine, and building arts.
This lecture will trace the development of Virginia’s rural domestic architecture focusing on the counties of the northern Shenandoah Valley. Scotch-Irish, Germans, English, and Africans settled this fertile area, bounded by the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, in the mid-18th century. Being separated from the coastal cities, these diverse groups forged a unique architectural vernacular in the Virginia backcountry. Their conservative building traditions remained distinct until the mid-1830s when the arrival of the B&O Railroad and C&O Canal transformed the local economy and culture. The lecture will explore varying plans, construction techniques, and ornaments of both farmhouses and townhouses in this historic area.
John C. Allen, Jr. works as an architectural historian in the Shenandoah Valley. He is the author of Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County 1735-1835, published by West Virginia University Press. For this book, Allen documented and photographed 250 early houses in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Uncommon Vernacular was awarded several publishing awards including the Gold Medal for Architectural Publishing and was a finalist for the Historic Preservation Book Prize.
A graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, Allen is a member of both the Vernacular Architectural Forum and Society of Architectural Historians. He has lectured about the historic architecture of the Shenandoah Valley at universities, museums, and to groups such as the Institute of Classical Architecture and the American Institute of Architects. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Allen to the Alexandria.
MEMBERSHIP AND GUEST LIST IS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. PLEASE REGISTER GUESTS WITH firstname.lastname@example.org. Fee for guests attending a one-time lecture is $15.