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Captivating Artwork and Architecture Command Center Stage in Hollin Hills House & Garden Tour

Select artists and architects were on hand to discuss their beautiful work

Alexandria, VA — Resuming a long tradition interrupted by the pandemic last year, Hollin Hills hosted its biennial House & Garden tour on Saturday. Tickets sold out weeks ago, with proceeds benefiting the Hollin Hills Civic Association. 

All photos by Susan Mulligan Fleischman

Hollin Hills is an iconic mid-century modern enclave south of Old Town Alexandria. Between 1946 and 1971, architect Charles Goodman and developer Robert Davenport had a singular vision for a modern, bold approach to housing, with walls of windows and strong geometric lines. Today Hollin Hills remains the only community in the entire DC metro area with all contemporary homes.

The tour through 13 homes focused on the four pillars of mid-century modern design: architecture, art, interiors, and landscape. These are the elements that define the unique style that has seen a huge rise in popularity lately. In several of the homes on tour, a number of renowned architects, artists, and landscape architects were on hand to discuss their work.

Artist Mike Arnold capturing the beauty of the Alcoa House.

This year’s tour included the famous Alcoa House, one of 24 such homes built in the 50s. It is estimated there are only 13 left in the country. Alcoa had a vision of creating homes that used its aluminum extensively, but the program turned out to be too expensive. The Alcoa House, renovated meticulously by owners Lee and Peter Braun, is a mid-century modern delight. The home is a stunner, from its original purple aluminum siding and blue decorative panels to the lime green door and surrounding brickwork.

As the architecture critic Michael Sorkin once put it, “Hollin Hills is one of the truly happy experiments in modernity … the kind of community so many modernists dreamed of, a beautiful place of social activism, love of nature, and potluck picnics.”

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