Sweet Briar House needs your vote. Virginia architects have nominated the home as one of 250 significant structures in the state, making it eligible to be included on a list of 100 favorite architectural examples to be decided by a public vote.
Balloting is open through Dec. 27. Your can cast your vote for Sweet Briar House here.
The top 100 structures will be represented in “Virginia’s Favorite Architecture,” an exhibition to be hosted next year by the Virginia Center for Architecture as part of a yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects in 2014. The exhibition is scheduled to open April 10.
The center is asking people to vote online for their favorites, based on design, innovation, history, or the spirit of community in Virginia. Eligible structures include buildings, bridges, monuments and memorials.
Sweet Briar House was the family home of the College’s founder, Indiana Fletcher Williams. Since 1901, when the College was established in accordance with Williams’ will, it has served as the president’s residence.
The original farmhouse was built in the late 18th century and later expanded by Williams’ father Elijah Fletcher, who bought the house and plantation property in 1830. Fletcher was a prominent figure in Amherst County and Lynchburg. Now, as then, the home is central to the life of the College and the community that surrounds it — culturally, economically and socially.
In the 1850s, Williams and her sister, Elizabeth Fletcher Mosby, helped their father redesign the original house and establish the renowned gardens, according to Karol Lawson, who directs the Sweet Briar Museum.
“Inspired by the theories of Andrew Jackson Downing, the young women transformed a rather simple country residence into an Italianate villa — the first of its kind in the western part of the state,” Lawson says.