Week of October 26th, 2015

Treasure Hunt of Local Architectural Details

How to play: At the beginning of each week, a photo of an architectural detail will be released on the blog. Think you know what building it comes from? A structure can be a building, a bridge, an arch, a sculpture – if it was constructed, it’s a structure. Post your guess in the comment section here on the blog. Later in the week, the location will be revealed, along with a statement about why it’s important.

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Week of October 20, 2015: The answer is… The Martinsville Post Office

Answer to this week’s clue:

DSCN3427Location: United States Post Office, 1 West Church Street

This Post Office was built in 1939 in the Colonial Revival Style. The Colonial Revival Style is one of the more commonly seen styles in the state and was developed in an effort to look back to the Federal and Georgian architecture of America’s founding period. Part of this interest in earlier architectural forms was inspired by the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 in honor of the country’s 100th birthday. The Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago also promoted this style, further contributing to its popularity.

The United States Post Office structure is brick and two stories high. The front of the post office has had plaster laid over the brick. The post office has a classical cornice and an entablature that is supported by two Doric columns along the front of the building. An entablature is a three part architectural element that is composed of the architrave, the frieze, and the cornice. Located on the roof of the post office is a cupola. The post office is listed as a contributing structure to the Martinsville Historic District. In 1939 the present post office replaced a 1906 Colonial Revival style building that was previously on the site.

DSCN3429Detail: The cupola on top of the Post Office

To see buildings from Henry County that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, please follow the link below.

http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/register_Henry.htm

To learn more about architectural styles:

http://architecturestyles.org

To learn more about local history visit the Martinsville and Henry County Historical Society web page at http://www.mhchistoricalsociety.com/ and visit the heritage center at the Historic Courthouse, 1 East Main Street.

Be on the lookout for the next architectural treasure clue.

Week of October 20th, 2015

Treasure Hunt of Local Architectural Details

How to play: At the beginning of each week, a photo of an architectural detail will be released on the blog. Think you know what building it comes from? A structure can be a building, a bridge, an arch, a sculpture – if it was constructed, it’s a structure. Post your guess in the comment section here on the blog. Later in the week, the location will be revealed, along with a statement about why it’s important.

Week of October 13, 2015: The answer is… J. D. Bassett High School

Answer to this week’s clue:

DSCN3415Location: J. D. Bassett High School, 3289 Riverside Drive, Bassett, VA

The J. D. Bassett High School is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a Georgian Revival structure that has a concrete foundation, slate roof, and brick walls. The property meets two National Register criteria; the first for being associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of history, and the second in that the high school embodies distinctive characteristics of construction. The period of significance for J. D. Bassett High school is from 1947 to 1955. The school was built by Dixon and Norman in 1947.

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The high school is an example of post World War II architecture. John D. Bassett High School is significant to Henry County because of its contribution to the educational and social history of the area. The brick structure has two porticos located at each end of the building, this design emphasizes the importance of the school and education to the area. The interior floor plan solidifies the importance of the school to the community by having public spaces such as the auditorium and gymnasium accessed through the porticos.

DSCN3417Detail of the doors of the school at one of the porticoes.

DSCN3418Detail of the windows.

To see buildings from Henry County that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, please follow the link below.

http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/register_Henry.htm

To see the nomination form for J. D. Bassett High School, follow the link below.

http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/Henry/044-5169_Bassett_School_2006_Nomination_final.pdf

To learn more about architectural styles:

http://architecturestyles.org

Be on the lookout for the next architectural treasure clue

Week of October 13, 2015

Treasure Hunt of Local Architectural Details

How to play: At the beginning of each week, a photo of an architectural detail will be released on the blog. Think you know what building it comes from? A structure can be a building, a bridge, an arch, a sculpture – if it was constructed, it’s a structure. Post your guess in the comment section here on the blog. Later in the week, the location will be revealed, along with a statement about why it’s important

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Week of October 5, 2015: The answer is…The Showroom

 DSCN3442Location: 132 East Church Street, Martinsville, VA 24112

The Showroom was built in 1965 and is classified as a corporate commercial building. This specific corporate commercial building has been done in the Mediterranean Revival style. The Mediterranean Revival style, as seen in these pictures, is defined by the building being faced in stark white or pastel colored walls. These colors cover the structural system of wood or concrete block; in the example of The Showroom it is brick that has been painted. Mediterranean Revival style is influenced by the architecture of Greece, Spain and Italy. The characteristics of the corporate commercial structure style represents only buildings that are part of a chain and have a specific use tied to the business. Corporate commercial style is used to classify buildings that are built for the purpose of showing off commercial goods.

Structurally, The Showroom is built in a u-shape; it has two wings that create a courtyard in front of the structure. The building is constructed using brick that has been painted white, this effect creates a light feeling to the building. The allusion to the Doric order of columns that surround the windows have a patina that adds to the feel of the Mediterranean style on The Showroom. There is also an echo to this Mediterranean style seen through the dentils that run along the cornice of the building. The windows of The Showroom are large picture windows that allow light in and allow the displayed furniture to be seen. The corporate commercial style is seen through the way the building is designed; it is built to display the furniture. This style is built to serve the purpose of enticing shoppers to buy the merchandise.

DSCN3450Detail of the iron globe around the lights outside of The Showroom.

DSCN3443The large glass windows with Grecian details. Note the green color which adds to the allusion of patina in the window detail.

DSCN3449Detail of the large glass windows.

To find a listing of all the buildings in Martinsville that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, click on the link below:
http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/register_Martinsville.htm

To access the listing for Martinsville Historic District, click on the link below:
http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Martinsville/120-5001_Martinsville_HD_1998_Final_Nomination.pdf
To learn more about architectural styles:
http://architecturestyles.org
To learn more about Mediterranean Revival style
http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/planning/pdf_files/HistoricDistrictsDesignGuidelines/council%20draft%20HDDG/11_Mediterranean.pdf

Be on the lookout for the next architectural treasure clue.

Week of October 5, 2015 – back in the City of Martinsville

Treasure Hunt of Local Architectural Details

How to play: At the beginning of each week, a photo of an architectural detail will be released on the blog. Think you know what building it comes from? A structure can be a building, a bridge, an arch, a sculpture – if it was constructed, it’s a structure. Post your guess in the comment section here on the blog. Later in the week, the location will be revealed, along with a statement about why it’s important.

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Week of September 28, 2015: The answer is…The Fieldale Bridge

  DSCN3567 Route 701 Bridge/ VDOT Bridge NO. 6007, 044-5002

This bridge was located near the historic eastern entrance to Fieldale. It was a narrow two-lane vehicular bridge that spanned the Smith River. This bridge was an example of a truss bridge that was commonly known as Warren Truss Bridge. This style of bridge was patented in 1848 by its designers, James Warren and Willoughby Theobald Monzani. It consists of longitudinal members joined only by angled cross members allowing no individual strut, beam, or tie to be effected by an bending or torsional straining forces but allow tension or compression to happen. The design of this bridge means that strength is combined with the economy of materials.

DSCN3566A close up of the truss that has been moved into Fieldale Park.

The truss bridge replaced the original bridge that was built in 1882 and was a one-lane iron and wood bridge. The 1882 bridge had to be replaced when it fell in 1931. The truss bridge was made of concrete and stone masonry with piers that were constructed of random coursed and uncut stone masonry with concrete addition. The Warren truss bridge was oriented east to west and spanned 210 feet across the Smith River. It had a steel superstructure and an external sidewalk that had a simple two-pipe railing. The Warren truss bridge has been replaced with a new and wider bridge.

134494-LThe Warren truss bridge before it was removed.

The Warren truss bridge was removed in 2009. One of the trusses has been placed in the Fieldale park; it is only part of the truss. The truss was broken into two parts to be placed in the park as a memorial to the previous bridge.

To find a listing of all the buildings in Martinsville that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, click on the link below.
http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/register_Martinsville.htm
To access the listing for Martinsville Historic District, please follow
http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Martinsville/120-5001_Martinsville_HD_1998_Final_Nomination.pdf the link below.
To learn more about architectural styles:
http://architecturestyles.org
Be on the lookout for the next architectural treasure clue.