Faced with the impending return of Traditional style, it seems we have two choices. The first is to invest in hand-painted wallpaper, gilt-framed mirrors, velvet upholstery, and Persian rugs. The second option is far more streamlined.
The 14th Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour, taking place on Saturday, September 25, celebrates the enduring mid-century modern aesthetic in Old Town, Alexandria. While tickets are sold out, the annual event explores the architectural, interior, sculptural, and landscape design pillars that exemplify the style and define this Virginia Landmark Historic District that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.
Attendance is expected to exceed 1,500 this year after being postponed last year due to COVID, and sculptors, architects, and landscape designers in residence are available to chat and answer questions at some of the 13 homes and gardens participating in the tour.
The neighborhood itself includes 450 homes and multiple parks, and consists of 326 acres. Hollin Hills was built between the late-1940s and early 1970s by developer Robert Davenport and architect Charles Goodman and is the first contemporary community in the DC metro.
The first tour of the homes and gardens in the neighborhood took place in 1953, and since 2006, it has been held every two years. This year, visitors follow a self-guided walking tour through the participating homes. The event also includes several activities that are open to the public, even though tickets to the main event are no longer available.
From 9-11 a.m., Radiance Yoga is sponsoring an all-abilities class taught by neighborhood resident, Aviva Kleinn, at the Hollin Hills Pool. Participants should bring their own mat. Also at the same time and place, the local institution Cars and Coffee, is taking place, where you can eyeball dozens of vintage and antique rides, and talk to owners and classic car fans.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hollin Hills Pool, you can check out some of the best contemporary furniture at the Modern Furniture Showcase, where designers will be present to answer questions (and, presumably, take orders).
Those who come to Hollin Hills enter a place that’s frozen in time that somehow doesn’t feel antiquated. In the face of the ongoing infatuation with maximalism, symmetry, and decoration, this enclave is a reminder that life doesn’t have to be so over-the-top. Hollin Hills Pool, 1602 Paul Spring Rd., Alexandria.
Photo credit: By Tod Connell for the Civic Association of Hollin Hills (c) 2021 CAHH
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