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Loudon County, Virginia

Heritage Landscapes completed a landscape preservation planning study addressing the historic Carter Barn complex, in collaboration with the Li/Saltzman team, for the National Trust. Oatlands was a prosperous plantation and mercantile hub in Virginia’s antebellum period. The productive landscape is an integral and significant component of the story of Oatlands. Initially founded in 1804 by George Carter and in Carter hands through 1897, Oatlands was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William Corcoran Eustis, who from 1903 to 1965 improved and used the property as a country estate. This planning effort addressed the service landscape and buildings adjacent to the estate core whose paths, drives, work yard, views and historic structures and surrounding agricultural landscape, shaped this zone.

The National Trust objectives were to improve the function, access and interpretation of the service complex, integrating the Carter Barn complex and surrounding agricultural landscape into the interpretive story of Oatlands by selectively stabilizing, preserving and interpreting the fieldstone walls, work yard, Carter Barn, Icehouse, and Milking Parlor, and to assess and identify suitable alternate sites to relocate storage and maintenance operations currently within the service complex.

The historic landscape preservation planning study, completed in 2011, outlines landscape evolution, identifies extant historic landscape features, and directs preservation and presentation of the service landscape and management of former agricultural lands for open expanses and views. While the geographic relationship of the complex to the mansion gardens remain, analysis discovered that spatial organization and land uses were greatly altered over time, degrading integrity. Treatment recommendations sought to preserve remnant historic features, including circulation patterns, paving materials and remnant vegetation, and remove non-contributing vegetation and intrusive service uses. Missing features such as fences and pedestrian paths were recommended for restoration where appropriate in order to enhance visitor experience, daily function and sustainability. Heritage Landscapes contributed an effective plan for the preservation, adaptation and interpretation of the Carter Barn and adjacent landscape, the nexus of Oatlands agriculture heritage.


Oatlands, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Historic Carter Barn Complex Preservation Plan, 2011

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners; Li/Saltzman Architects, working with interdisciplinary team