Week of November 16, 2015: The answer is…The Little Post Office (#ExploringVirginia)

DSCN3521Location: The Little Post Office, 207 Starling Avenue

The Little Post Office is a one story Queen Anne style structure that was built in 1893. This building was used as a contract post office by John B. Anglin until 1917. The exterior and one room interior of the building are detailed in the Queen Anne Style.

The structure has a front gabled roof and is constructed out of brick. In the mid 20th century a frame construction building was attached to the post office. There are some unique architectural features on the little post office. The building has stained glass; it’s not the original stained glass. There is also a circular vent with a star-burst detail under the roof gable.

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The rear wing appears to have been built soon after 1893. There is a side entry with an early glass-paneled door, bracketed stoop, and modern brick steps. The wing is connected to the brick section by frame infill sided with wood shingles. The wing may have served as a servant’s quarter or perhaps a laundry or kitchen. The interior of the post office still retains some original features; the doors and windows have molded surrounds with turned corner blocks, the mantel has molded pilasters, and there is a brick-lined fireplace and hearth. There were some changes made to original materials that were badly damaged. The features that are in the rear addition are more modern.

The Little Post Office is related to two traditional Virginia building types: the country or small town post office and the domestic office. Many times, fourth-class post offices were in general stores or small buildings. Often there was a low volume of mail being passed through them. The domestic office stood in the yard near a principal dwelling and could serve for a number of uses. These types of offices were often finely built and highly detailed buildings that served to ornament the grounds where they stood.

If you are interested in learning more about outbuildings, one interesting book that focuses on Virginia and the Tidewater Virgina and Maryland area is Kitchens, Smokehouses, and Privies: Outbuildings and the Architecture of Daily Life in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic by Michael Olmert, Cornell University Press, ISBN  978-0801447914.

To see buildings from Henry County that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, click here.

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 November 16, 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 November 2, 2015: The answer is…Bassett Country Club

DSCN3426The Bassett Country Club, 1230 Oak Level Road

The Bassett Country Club was built in 1926. The Club is constructed out of wood and brick and is built on a brick foundation. The architecture of the club is reminiscent of the craftsman style. The craftsman style was popular from 1900 to 1929; it was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. The craftsman style is defined by a low-pitched gabled roof, with wide and unenclosed eave overhang, timber framing, wood shingle siding and/or cut stone, wide window and door casings, exposed rafters, and decorative beams or braces under gables. Craftsman buildings are usually one or two stories.

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The portico has exposed rafter column details. The mixture of wood siding with brick on the front façade and stone on the chimney is part of the craftsman style. The roof of the club is a low-pitched gable roof, another feature of the craftsman style. The club is an important part of the community. When the factories were operational they had memberships that allowed the families of workers to use the club.

Currently the Bassett Country Club is closed, but there are plans to utilize the space.

To see buildings from Henry County that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, click here.

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 November 2, 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 26, 2015: The answer is… Piedmont Arts Association

(Sorry this is late – I’ve been doing fieldwork.)

Answer to this week’s clue:

DSCN3518Piedmont Arts Association, 215 Starling Ave

Piedmont Arts is a two story building and was built as a single family dwelling in the Colonial Revival style in 1920. The house belonged originally to Charles B. Bryant and after that it was owned by Michael Schottland. This house has undergone many alterations over the years. The original house that was built in 1900 was a two story Colonial Revival. In 1920 Michael Schottland expanded the house and added a two story porch. The porch is reminiscent to the one found at Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, and it replaced the original one-story porch. Between 1927 and 1949 the one story wings on the sides were converted to two-story wings. The Schottland heirs donated the house to Piedmont Arts Association in 1981. Piedmont Arts has expanded the building to house all the exhibits.

DSCN3520The Doric Columns that support the porch and the second story Juliet balcony.

Piedmont Arts is a regional organization that brings various forms of art to the area. To find out more about the exhibits or about Piedmont Arts Association click on the link below for their website. The house is listed as a contributing structure to the East Church Street/ Starling Avenue Historic District.

DSCN3519The fan and side lights around the door.

To see buildings from Henry County that have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, click here.

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.