Legato School

July 14, 2007 at 6:45 am (architecture, landscape, Virginia) (, , , , )

A Photo from Neddy

The Legato School is the last of Fairfax County’s one-room schoolhouses. It has been restored and furnished as it was in the 1870s, and is operated as a museum. It was here that first to eighth grade students of western Fairfax County were taught the three Rs from 1870 until 1930. The schoolhouse was originally located at the intersection of Pender and Legato Roads. The building now sits upon the grounds of the Fairfax County Courthouse, Route 123 near Main Street, in Fairfax City, Virginia.

One elderly gentleman once described Virginia’s educational system in those impoverished times as teaching “The Three ‘Rs’ … Readin’, Writin’ and Road to Washington.” Today, Fairfax County, Virginia is one of the most affluent and educated counties of the entire United States.

In June of this year my Red Hats group were given a tour of the Fairfax County Courthouse construction site by project manager Ellen vanHully-Bronson. Parts of the courthouse were complete with carpet and finishes. Other areas were very much still a construction site. When completed the almost $100 million 316,000-square-foot expansion will more than double the size of the existing Jennings Judicial Center. The new courthouse is a five-story reinforced concrete-framed structure surrounded by a serpentine Jeffersonian brick wall. There are fourteen fitted-out courtrooms and three shells of courtrooms for future expansion, fourteen elevators, larger holding cells, a new law library, a beautiful courtyard and a state of the art security system.

Here is the slideshow: Courthouse Construction Site June 2007.

The image, Legato School, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Marine Corps Museum

April 16, 2007 at 7:54 am (architecture, history, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

The roof of the new National US Marine Corps Museum at Quantico, Virginia has created quite a landscape for travellers along the I-95 corridor in Northern Virginia. I shot this image from a moving car window while heading northward on I-95 during an April Nor’easter. The focal point of the museum building is this soaring, 210-foot tilted mast atop a 160-foot glass atrium. The architectural design was inspired by the famous Iwo Jima flag raising of World War II, as was the famous U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, farther north in Rosslyn, Virginia.

The “first” birth of the USMC came about on November 10, 1775, when the Continental Congress raised “two battalions of ‘Continental’ Marines” to be used as landing forces with the fleet. These early Marines served on land and sea, and distinguished themselves in battles and operations. Their first amphibious raid on foreign soil occurred in the Bahamas in March of 1776. Believe or not, when the 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolutionary War, Congress saw no further use for the Continental Navy nor Marines and sold the Navy’s ships and disbanded both arms of military service.

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The image, Marine Corps Museum, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Old Brick Church on the James

April 2, 2007 at 10:27 am (architecture, Christianity, landscape, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

Jamestown Island Brick Church on the James River, from “My Picasa Album” – Jamestown Island.

The present church was built in 1907, by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America. The Church stands behind a brick tower which was erected circa 1690, and is the only surviving seventeenth-century structure at Jamestown. It is also one of the oldest English buildings in the United States. The interior of the Church contains the brick and cobblestone foundations of the original 1639 Jamestown settlement church. The James River flows beside the site. It is at this sacred place that America’s most cherished traditions of freedom were first planted. They took root well.

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The image, Old Brick Church on the James, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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The Dove of Peace

February 11, 2007 at 8:17 pm (architecture, art, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

Flying High o’er the Home of the Great American Warrior, General George Washington, Mount Vernon, Virginia

As a young career soldier, George Washington claimed that he “loved the sound of whistling bullets.” Thirty years and many battles later, the same George Washington placed a dove of peace symbol on his home’s cupola.

The original Dove of Peace weathervane was made by Philadelphian Joseph Rakestraw in the summer of 1787, soon after George Washington ordered it, and was immediately sent to Mount Vernon. The actual vane was in the shape of a dove of peace, its copper body framed or bound with iron strips. In the beak of the dove was an olive branch fashioned from a sheet of iron. The bird measured forty inches long with a wing span of thirty-five inches. Washington wrote to his nephew George Augustine Washington, 12 August 1787, that “The bill of the bird is to be black and olive branch in the mouth of it is to be green.

Mount Vernon later stopped maintaining Washington’s color scheme, covering the body of the bird with gold leaf to deter further corrosion to its original copper and iron construction. Today, the original Dove of Peace is displayed in Mount Vernon’s new museum, while a replica has been installed upon the mansion’s cupola.

From whence came this “Dove of Peace” carrying an olive branch?

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The image, The Dove of Peace, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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April in Belgium

August 1, 2006 at 11:47 pm (architecture, Belgium, landscape)

A Photo from Neddy

Bruge, Belgium Canal, April 2006

The image, Bruge, Belgium Canal, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Graveyard at Pohick Church

August 1, 2006 at 6:35 am (architecture, gardens, holy places, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

Pohick Church was the parish church of Revolutionary War patriots George Washington and George Mason. It is located at the intersection of Colchester Road and Richmond Highway, Lorton, Virginia.

Pohick Church (1768-1774) was built as a brick replacement of Lewis Chapel, formerly located a few miles to the south. Its burying grounds contain interesting markers, including WILLIAM HARRIS, died 1698, the oldest surviving gravestone in Fairfax County. ALL of the gravestones before 1870, according to historian Brian Conley, were moved here from other local graveyards. This church and its grounds suffered serious neglect and abuse after the American Revolution’s disestablishment of the Anglican church, and later during the Civil War.

The image, Pohick Church Graveyard, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr.

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Living at the Water’s Edge

July 26, 2006 at 11:33 am (architecture, Netherlands)

A Photo from Neddy

When I spotted this magnificent houseboat on the Amsterdam waterfront, I immediately thought of my octogenarian friends, Van and Geri (of “Geri Was a WASP“), and the many years they passed their summer days in a less magnificent version of a float house on Lake Coeur d’Alene, in Idaho.

Amsterdam in April, 2006

The image, Amsterdam Waterfront, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr

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Woodlawn Plantation

July 22, 2006 at 6:06 pm (architecture, Virginia)

A Photo from Neddy

In a 1793 map of his estate, George Washington described the 463 acre parcel where Woodlawn now stands as “a most beautiful site for a Gentleman’s Seat.” Washington continued that “few better sites for a house than Gray’s Hill and that range are to be found in this country or elsewhere.” The first architect of the U.S. Capitol, Dr. William Thornton, was engaged to design the home of Washington’s nephew, Lawrence Lewis home at Woodlawn Plantation.

The image, Woodlawn Plantation, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr

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National Cathedral

July 18, 2006 at 5:11 pm (architecture, Washington DC)

A Photo from Neddy

WAshington DC, December 2005

The image, National Cathedral, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr

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Along the Canal

July 16, 2006 at 3:31 am (architecture, Belgium, landscape)

A Photo from Neddy

In the Ancient City of Brugges, Belgium, April 2006

The image, Brugges Canal, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy’s flickr

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