Don't Have an Account?
Sign Up to Save Favorite Listings, Save Searches & More...
Holmes Run Acres Homes for Sale in Fairfax, VA
There are a surprisingly robust number of mid-century modern homes for sale in the Washington Metro region. One of the largest pockets exists in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County, Virginia, with the Holmes Run Acres neighborhood. Here you’ll find more than 350 single-family homes in a variety of models but with the common denominator of a contemporary style that evokes the California Ranch look with some modernist twists including either flat or gradually pitched roofs, wide overhangs and oversized windows.
The project began in 1945 when a Washington investor, Herman Schmidt, filed a deed declaring that some 122 acres of land he owned would become a subdivision known as Holmes Run Acres. But it would still take a period of time before the first homes were built.
There were three major builders involved in the community but one architectural team that steered the overall design process, that being Nicholas Satterlee and Francis Donald Lethbridge. This was the beginning of the post-World War II era in progressive design. Holmes Run Acres is not only one of the largest mid-century modern communities in the region but also one of the very first.
More About Mid-Century Homes in Holmes Run Acres
Nearly half of the 355 homes were built by the Luria Brothers (Gerald and Eli) between 1951 and 1953. Gaddy Construction Company purchased the remaining lots from the Luria brothers and continued building up until around 1957, contributing around 153 houses. The final phase was from Boder Homes, beginning around 1959, with around 17 more properties.
The Luria Brothers offered two basic models, each on .25-acre lots and each with additional variations. The first was an 864 square foot, two-bedroom L-shaped slab Rambler, typically with a car port. The second was a 1,728 square foot home, either Rambler or Split-Level. These homes were two-story with basements, offered in five variations that also took into account the topography. The larger houses had the option of a garage instead of carport.
Common features for most of these homes included a four-foot wide door, post and beam cathedral ceilings and huge brick chimney walls at one end. The facades were a combination of clapboard and brick. Many of the stylistic elements would remain with later builders, due to the guiding design principles from Satterlee and Lethbridge.
The Gaddy homes were built on hillier and woodsier terrain. There weren’t any major changes in the initial models, save for a slightly larger footprint and a different positioning for carports. With time, they added other variations, such as wet-plastered walls, basements in all models, catwalk decks off the window walls and wood storage boxes built into the wide brick fireplace walls. Towards the end of the Gaddy phase, electric stoves were introduced rather than gas. Central air conditioning and clothes dryers were other new features.
The last homes were built by Andre Boder. These were the largest of all the houses with up to 2,400 square feet of living space in a split-level floorplan. Modernist elements such as the large expanses of glass and the open cathedral ceilings were accentuated even further. Other Boder features included larger carports with adjacent screened porches, mahogany walls in certain rooms and glazed fireplaces. A handful of the houses were tri-level, with two steps leading from the living area to the bedrooms.
Holmes Run Acres, often referred to by locals as “The Acres,” is located in the Falls Church area just inside the Capital Beltway. The community is bound by Gallows Road, Homes Run Drive and Surrey Lane, with other interior streets and cul-de-sacs branching off from the main surrounding roads.
Civic engagement was encouraged from an early stage, with the founding of the Holmes Run Acres Civic Association (HRACA) in 1952. The Holmes Run Recreation Association soon followed with the Holmes Run Swimming Pool delivered in 1954. The recreation association offers three swimming pools in total, within a park-like setting with picnic areas, grills, hiking trails and other recreation facilities.
Among the group activities are a book club, discussion group, fiber arts, a running group and community volunteerism. Local schools include Woodburn Elementary in the heart of Holmes Run Acres, as well as the nearby Luther Jackson Middle School and Falls Church High School.
Living in Holmes Run Acres and Falls Church, VA
Falls Church, Virginia refers both to the small, independent city and the larger surrounding area. Holmes Run Acres is a subdivision within the larger community of Annandale which is in the greater Falls Church area of Fairfax County. The modernist enclave is immediately east of the Beltway, south of Holmes Run Valley Park and north of the small community of Holmes Run Heights.
There’s greenspace aplenty for residents of Holmes Run Acres to enjoy, whether it’s within the immediate neighborhood or in places like the Hidden Oaks Nature Center or the aforementioned Holmes Run Valley Park—and elongated greenbelt and tributary extending for miles northwest of Lake Barcroft. It should be mentioned that Barcroft is another neighborhood noted for its mid-century modern homes.
There’s local restaurants, businesses and grocery stores in Annandale, and plenty of other choices further north in Falls Church—a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, movies, restaurants and more. Also worth mentioning is the Mosaic District with its trendy attractions, as well as Metro stations in Dunn-Loring as well as West Falls Church. To learn more about homes for sale in Holmes Run Acres, call Andre Perez at District Partners at Compass (202) 798-3600.