Oakridge Manor

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Oak Ridge. circa 1933. Historic American Buildings Survey / Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

By all accounts, Oakridge was the quintessential home of the mid-upper class in the early days of the republic, taking inspiration from the style of Bowling Green Manor less than three miles north. Even though the 1741-built Georgian of her father’s was more notable and well-known, Sophia’s Oakridge had all of the elaborate details that the Old Manor lacked.

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The classical arched doorway of Oakridge. Arches (doorways and entries) was becoming a predominant feature of the classical Federal style

Oakridge represented a crossroads of American architecture, as the Georgian style of colonial and pre-revolution America was starting to give way to the classical Federal style that was emerging amongst the wealthy throughout Virginia and the south following independence. Instead of committing to one style, Oakridge morphed the two styles together, with its high gabled roof and gabled dormers, a staple of the Georgian style, coinciding with a classical arched doorway with both a keystone and a fan window.

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Oakridge’s fireplace

While the exterior represented a change in American society, the interior was still relatively standard for the age. Oakridge was different from the Old Manor, as it included ornate crown moldings, wainscoting, built-in wall cabinets, and an archway in the center hall.

Unfortunately, a fire in the early 1980s completely destroyed the house, leaving only the two chimneys and an exposed brick wall that still stands. Today, the remnants of this Georgian-Federal manor sits as a reminder and a monument of a bygone era in American history.