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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Chesterfield Highlands Historic District
Reference Number 13000540
State Virginia
County Colonial Heights Independent City
Town Colonial Heights
Street Address Roughly bounded by East Westover Avenue (formerly Lyons Road) on the north; Lafayette Avenue on the east; Pickwick. Danville. Lafayette and Lee Avenues on the south. and the Boulevard on the west
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 7/23/2013
Areas of Significance Architecture, Community Planning and Development
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000540.pdf
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The Chesterfield Highlands Historic District is significant under National Register Criterion A in community planning and development, and under Criterion C in the area of architecture. The Period of Significance spans the period from 1916 to 1954. The beginning date of 1916 is the date that the original legal plat was filed in Chesterfield County and the end date of 1954 correlates with the final build-out of the district which occurred during the post-World War II building boom. The historic district stands out as one of the largest and earliest of the planned suburbs in the City of Colonial Heights, Virginia. The original plan for Chesterfield Highlands is an important example of early twentieth-century suburban design. Prepared by a civil engineer, the carefully scaled plat incorporated specifications from Pollard's Code of Virginia. The neatly delineated plan, divided into blocks and further subdivided into lots of uniform size, is prototypical of early-twentieth-century suburbanization. The emergence of the suburban town was directly correlated to the successful introduction of the Richmond-Petersburg Interurban Street Railway. Transformation of the heights along the north bank of the Appomattox River from undeveloped farm land to a town of planned suburbs was rapid, attributable to speculative real estate ventures. The original legal plat for Chesterfield Highlands was filed in 1916 by R. L. Watson, a real estate developer from the City of Petersburg. The plat depicted the street railway track running along the Boulevard from present-day Pickwick Avenue, past East Westover Avenue (then Lyons Road) with two passenger stops within easy walking distance of the suburb. House building was brisk after the original legal plat was filed, with the majority of houses constructed between 1920 and 1940. The architecture showcases several period kit-houses and numerous other examples of houses that appear to be period catalog-inspired designs. The form, massing, and roof composition of a large number of houses appear to be borrowed from the Craftsman movement, although all do not necessarily display characteristic Craftsman-style details. In the decade following World War II, new buildings constructed in the district reflected evolving preferences in residential design. Nearly all of the houses built between 1945 and 1954 are building types popular in the post-World War II period, particularly Cape Cod, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. Chesterfield Highlands, with uniform massing, standardized setbacks, dense residential character, sidewalks, mature trees, and service alleys, is representative of a significant period in American residential suburban design.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria