Tuesday, October 4, 2011

House of the Week

Shack Mountain

This beautiful house is outside of Charlottesville, Virginia and was designed by architect Fiske Kimball. The property is for sale - here are details from the listing:

Shack Mountain was designed by Fiske Kimball, (1888-1955), the most noted of Americas first generation of architectural scholars who, it can be argued, single-handedly recorded Thomas Jeffersons stature as the first American Architect. Among many other extraordinary accomplishments, Kimball was the first Chair of the University of Virginias School of Architecture. Completed in 1937, Shack Mountain is a small gem in T form of brick laid in Flemish bond and struck with a grapevine joint. The front of the house is an elongated octagon dominated by a Tuscan portico with paired columns. Jefferson believed the octagon ideal for light and Kimball concurred. 13 ceilings are partnered with triple-hung sash windows. The tall ceilings, beautiful mouldings and cornice, cylindrical doors and walls, found more often in dwellings of the 18th and 19th century, culminate in Shack Mountain as a lasting work of art. Fiske Kimball was an American cultural force in the early 20th century. A man of exceptional vision, talent, dedication and energy, Kimball was boisterous, bold, imaginative and brilliant. A brief and incomplete summary of Fiske Kimball career includes: 1919 became the first Chair of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia where he was supervising architect for all building projects with a direct hand in the designs of the University Amphitheater, Memorial Gymnasium and the University Hospital complex 1922 completed the design for the campus plan of Woodberry Forest School 1923 organized a Department of Fine Arts at New York University 1924 became Chair of the Restoration Committee at Monticello supervising restoration of the house and grounds 1925 became director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art 1928 accepted appointment to Advisory Committee of Architects for restoration of Colonial Williamsburg 1930 - Served on the Committee responsible for design and construction of the Jefferson Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Kimball hand-selected John Russell Pope for the design and then successfully defended the design against the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright who declared it a gangrene of sentimentality. 1040s - Headed the American Institute of Architects 1940 and 50s Served as an art advisor to Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman Shack Mountain today remains incredibly private and yet minutes from downtown Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. Protected on one side by the Ivy Creek Natural Area owned by the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County and on another side by an historic estate subject to a conservation Easement, Shack Mountains privacy is ensured in perpetuity. The 102 Acres are primarily wooded with open fields to the north and east having beautiful views of the Blue Ridge and the Southwest Mountains.

Hat tip to my friend Laura for letting us know about the house!


  1. Oh yeah, hit's my sweet spot. Thanks.

  2. I know - it's so great b/c not too big and everything looks just right. I sound like Goldilocks!