Colonial Revival Real Estate

Living in the suburban sprawl of northern Virginia, I see a lot of loosely interpreted “colonial” architecture. My parents’ neighborhood was built in 1976, and the builders decided to add some Bicentennial pride to their split levels with eagles over the front door pediments. Today I passed a BB&T bank with a cupola. But the building that takes the cake by far is the Long & Foster Building on Route 28 near the McLearen Road exit.

If there were a Colonial Williamsburg edition of Power Rangers, this would be the mega-zord. It’s like the Governor’s Palace on both steroids and HGH.

There is every possible window concept here – Palladian, round, rubbed brick lintels – but it’s those squished dormers on the side wings that kill me.

I took these photos when the building was completed in 2008. The “For rent” sign suggests that L&F may have overestimated the Hampton Court – like dimensions of their office.

It’s clear that Long & Foster likes this Georgian-inspired look. Further down 28, just past the junction with I-66, is a similar building on a smaller scale.

What do you think about these buildings? Do they say “You can trust us to find your own Virginia estate,” or “We are trying too hard”?

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