April 27, 2008 Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour, Hollin Hills Virginia

Hollin Hills: Hot, Hilly and History

Nearly 700 people hiked, biked or drove through Hollin Hills yesterday to view nine homes and gardens as part of the 2008 Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour. The day began with a lecture and Q & A session with Hollin Hills residents Dennis Carmichael, a landscape architect, and John Burns, an architectural historian, who briefed the audience about the history of the community’s architecture and landscape design. The homes in Hollin Hills “are not huge, but they live big,” Carmichael said of the Charles Goodman-designed homes with open spaces and walls of glass that allow the blending of inside and outside space.

Burns discussed the history of the relationship of Goodman and Hollin Hills developer Robert Davenport, who built the nearby cooperative community of Tauxemont in the 1940s. Goodman was brought in by a number of Tauxemont residents to help expand the basic cinder bloc, one-story side-gabled roofed homes that were originally designed to make it easy to incorporate additions. After this experience, the two teamed up to develop Hollin Hills, designing the homes, which were built with early prefabrication techniques, to fit with the natural surroundings, a radical idea at the time. Landscape architects Lou Bernard Voigt, Dan Kiley and Eric Paepcke were responsible for the original landscape designs.

It was interesting to see how the different homes have been altered and expanded, although I would have liked to compare these homes with others that are still in their original form. It also was interesting (and a little suprising) to see that not all Hollin Hills residents fill their homes exclusively with mid-century modern furniture or art.

On a personal note, it was great to meet all the readers of the blog who introduced themselves, especially the crew from the Takoma Park Goodmans. Enjoy the photos if you could not make it yesterday, and hats off to all those from Hollin Hills who organized the tour.

Here are some more pictures from Modern Capital reader Andrew.