Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes
For Immediate Release
|STRATFORD, VA, (February 25, 2016) – If you have recently driven by the entrance to Stratford Hall on State Rt. 214 you might wonder what all the activity is about. While the recent snow and rain has slowed progress, construction has now begun in full force that, when finished, will provide a more functional front entrance to the 1,900-acre property.
The new entrance design will return the old brick gatehouse to its original purpose. Designed by renowned architect Fiske Kimball, the gatehouse will be restored and the entrance modified to feature the gatehouse as its focal point. Kimball supervised the restoration of Stratford Hall, Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, and Monticello in the 1930s and 40s.
The brick gatehouse was completed March 1937 to replace a temporary wooden gatehouse built March 1935. The Society of Colonial Wars paid for the construction of the gatehouse and gates, as well as the adjacent landscaping which included dogwood trees. The entrance road was eventually paved in the 1950s. The small porch roof extension on the gatehouse was added in 1959. Stratford stopped using the brick gatehouse in 1999 because of traffic issues and it was replaced by a temporary wooden ticket house further into the Stratford property.
Separate entrance and exit lanes will be constructed on each side of the gatehouse structure, with an additional lane on the entrance side to accommodate traffic waiting for admission to the grounds. The new entrance design will improve traffic flow to make the entrance safer, especially for large vehicles and increasing event traffic.
Funds to pay for the project have come from charitable gifts from a number of Stratford Hall supporters, including many of the organization’s former board members.
Work on the project commenced on February 22, 2016, and is expected to end by the middle of April. For progress on the project be sure to follow us on Facebook and our other social media channels as well as our website www.Stratfordhall.org.