Hollin Hills House & Garden Tour This Saturday

Take a peek inside some of the neighborhood’s midcentury-modern gems.

By: Kathleen Bridges

Saturday, rain or shine, 12 of the midcentury-modern gems dotting the Alexandria enclave known as Hollin Hills will open their doors to the public as part of the neighborhood's annual House & Garden Tour.

As if you needed another excuse to don your best Betty Draper shift and shake up a fresh batch of Manhattans.

More than half a century ago, a collaboration by midcentury-modern master architect Charles Goodman and real-estate developer Robert Davenport led to a 225-acre, 450-home planned community that would eventually become one of the best examples of postwar contemporary architecture. Walking through the neighborhood today is like stepping back in time; many of the homes, constructed to be harmonious with the rolling hills in which they are positioned, have been painstakingly restored and outfitted in period-accurate furniture.

If you're an architecture buff, a Saarinen devotee, or, like us, just obsessed with all things midcentury-mod, this is a can't-miss opportunity to live the 1950s life for a few hours. Presale tickets for the self-guided walking tour have long since been snatched up, but you can still purchase tickets on Saturday for $25--as long as they last--at the main registration site (see the website for more information). Early birds will be treated to a brief orientation by architect Thomas Kerns, who's also a Hollin Hills resident.

If you can't wait until Saturday, the interior design department of the Corcoran College of Art and Design is hosting a lecture, "A Community Vision: Hollin Hills, Modern Then and Now," at the Corcoran Gallery Friday evening at 6 at the Corcoran Gallery. See the website for details.