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Hollin Hills Homes for Sale in Alexandria, VA
If there is one community in the Washington Metropolitan area that best embodies the principles of mid-century modern architecture, it is Alexandria’s very own Hollin Hills. Located between Route 1 and the Potomac River in the southern part of Alexandria, this amazing neighborhood is made up of approximately 450 iconic modernist homes, set into 32 acres of gently rolling woodsy splendor. It is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best examples of modernist architecture on a large scale.
What makes these houses so cool? Picture low-slung designs with either flat or butterfly roofs, along huge window modules placed side-by-side so as to form walls of glass. Presented in an array of individual models, these delightful abodes are set into ungraded terrain and surrounded by trees, with each facing a different direction so as to offer next-door neighbors unobstructed views as well as a sense of privacy.
Mid-Century Modern Homes in or near Hollin Hills Alexandria
It all began in the late 1940's when a developer named Robert Davenport purchased the land and enlisted the help of Charles Goodman—a noted architect who was at the forefront of the modernist movement in the DC area. Goodman had been a top architect for the Public Buildings Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department in the 1930's before opening his own firm. Davenport and Goodman, along with landscape architect Dan Kiley, all collaborated on the vision that would ultimately result in this remarkable award-winning community which is now designated as a national historic district.
The project broke ground in 1949 with many homes completed and sold in the early years. While construction continued until 1970, Goodman’s design work was concluded by 1961. His influence was very much in evidence on later models, however. Goodman also worked on a great many other homes, buildings and communities, including those in Arlington, Fairfax County, Montgomery County and Washington, DC. His River Park Mutual Homes in the Southwest Waterfront area are especially well-known—futuristic townhouses and apartments with unique barrel-shaped metallic roofs.
Hollin Hills is in the Hybla Valley, adjacent the Fort Hunt community. The homes not only have a unique modern appearance but also employed forward-thinking and cost-saving features such as solar panels. Residents love the trees, streams and woodland creatures wandering to-and-fro. But there’s also plenty of human creature comforts as well, including the Hollin Hills Pool and a full calendar of social activities and events, such as movie nights, barbeques and a host of visiting food trucks.
The Modern Movement may have begun many decades ago but it is alive and well in Hollin Hills. Homes for sale in the neighborhood have recently listed in the mid-to-high six figures, and rarely cross the seven-figure threshold. It should also be noted that a rigorous design review committee keeps watch over renovations and additions—this is a community that preserves its heritage.
Charles M. Goodman and Washington Metro Mid-Century Homes
While the Washington Metro area has numerous examples of mid-century modern homes from a variety of notable architects, the most influential and prolific of the lot is Charles M. Goodman. Born in New York City, Goodman grew up in the Chicago suburbs and was trained in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and heavily influenced by early modernists such as Frank Lloyd Wright.
Goodman moved to Washington, DC in the 1930s and went to work for the federal government, designing buildings with a modern flair for the Public Buildings Administration, the U.S Treasury Department and the Army Air Forces Air Transport Command. After the end of World War II, he shifted gears and began working on single-family homes, townhouses and entire neighborhoods. Goodman sought to make progressive design affordable to the masses, during a baby boom era in which families were seeking stylish alternatives to traditional design. This also involved incorporating nature with residential suburban living.
Among Goodman’s well-known merchant builder communities were Hollin Hills; the River Park Mutual Homes in Washington, DC’s Southwest Waterfront; 90 Hickory Cluster townhouses in Reston; 58 single-family homes in Montgomery County’s Hammond Wood subdivision plus an addition 20 in adjacent Hammond Hill; 74 contemporary dwellings in the Rock Creek Historic District, duplexes in Arlington’s Virginia Heights—just to name some of the better-known examples.
But the overall numbers were much greater than these specific neighborhoods, due to Goodman’s collaborations with numerous other architects, builders and companies. Over 32,000 Goodman homes were built during a busy decade and he also created plans for 100,000 prefabricated houses for the National Homes Corporation.
Whether it was creating unique custom modernist homes for private clients or inventing ways to make contemporary design affordable through new suburban communities, the award-winning modernist left an unmistakable imprint on the Washington Metropolitan landscape. To tour an available home for sale, call Andre Perez at District Partners at Compass, (202) 798-3600.