Park Village, Snow Loop, and Jadwin Loop Village (collectively identified as the 400 Area) were the first-single family homes constructed at Fort Belvoir. Designed as portable buildings and intended for military use overseas during World War I, the buildings were instead constructed at Fort Belvoir at the end of the war. These temporary buildings addressed an immediate need for an installation hoping to receive permanent status.
The 400 Area is located within the National Register-eligible Fort Belvoir Historic District.
Together, the three housing groups of Park Village, Snow Loop, and Jadwin Loop Village comprise an area of Fort Belvoir identified as the 400 Area. The 400 Area Temporary Housing has two typical floor plans. The first is Building Type "T," a rectangular structure with an attached porch or sunroom. The second is Building Type "L," which has two intersecting rectangular wings and a diagonal recessed entry.
Both building types consist of a one-story wood frame construction resting on a combination of concrete foundation walls and piers, and gabled roofs. Each house features two brick fireplaces with clay pipes, one in the living room and one near the kitchen. The original materials used on the exterior included a panelized system with battens, wood casement windows, wood-paneled doors, and a variety of wood brackets, posts, benches, and other wood trim.
The façade of the "T"-shaped housing features a projecting, Arts and Crafts inspired front porch with built-in side benches, square wood posts and wood knee braces, which are echoed under the other gable of the house. The front porch frames the centrally located front door. The main entry of the "L"-shaped houses consists of a slightly recessed front door flanked by the two arms of the "L"-shaped plan.
Each of the 400 Area houses retains a significant amount of historic integrity despite a long series of renovations and small additions. One major alteration to the villages occurred ca. 1939 when some of the homes in Jadwin Loop Village were removed and a row of new houses and associated free-standing garages were constructed in their place. The replacement houses were designed in the Colonial Revival style found elsewhere on post. Constructed as five separate buildings, the ca. 1939 homes are mutli-family dwellings. The buildings were initially intended to provide housing for 25 junior officers and their families. These are the only buildings of this type to be constructed at Fort Belvoir during this time period.
Additional alterations to the 400 Area housing have occurred over the years, including renovation of the plumbing systems and extensive interior renovations. Major modifications to the exterior have included the replacement of the original casement windows and the addition of French doors.
One of the most profound renovations, impacting the historic character of the buildings, occurred in 1984 with the addition of vinyl siding to all of the buildings. Further alterations have included replacement of historic windows, removal of the historic standing-seam roofing and installation of asphalt shingle roofing, enclosing many of the historic screen porches to make sunrooms, and often, the addition of another porch to recapture the lost exterior space.
Statement of Significance
Prior to the close of World War I, several "kit of parts" building units, like those seen in Fort Belvoir's 400 Area, were designed by the military. These were to be mass produced, pre-packaged units, shipped overseas, and quickly and easily assembled by relatively unskilled workers using simple tools and a basic set of instructions.
The Park Village, Snow Loop, and Jadwin Loop Village houses illustrate two of these prefabricated designs. Both the "T" and "L"-shaped housing units were designed in the Arts and Crafts bungalow style and were constructed with a standardized panel system.
Originally intended for use in France, the building kits never served their intended purpose, as their completion coincided with the end of the war. In total, at least 60 examples of these buildings were constructed at Fort Belvoir by the Army Corps of Engineers, helping to establish Fort Belvoir as a permanent military installation. Retrofitted for housing, the building kits were initially intended to serve only as temporary housing units. Thirty-four of these units survived into the 21st Century.
Designed in the Craftsman bungalow style, these single-family structures were constructed in 1920 and 1921. Capt. A.A. Hockman, QMC, designed the "T"-shaped houses, and Capt. Horace W. Peaslee of the Corps of Engineers designed the "L"-shaped houses. 1
Although nothing is known of Capt. Hockman's history or how he came to be involved in the design of this housing, the history of Capt. Horace W. Peaslee is well documented. Capt. Peaslee became one of the leading architects of Washington, DC, from the time he left the Corps of Engineers in 1919 up to his death in 1959.
Park Village was named to memorialize Col. Richard Park, the first Commanding Officer at Camp A.A. Humphreys. He supervised the rapid construction of the cantonment during the severe winter of 1918. Park was promoted to colonel on July 13, 1918, and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his work in the establishment of Camp A.A. Humphreys. The permanent construction that occurred between the mid-1920s to mid-1930 was based on his basic concept for the post. He retired in 1943.
The origin of the "Snow" name is unknown.
Jadwin Loop Village was named to memorialize Maj. Gen. Edgar Jadwin, Chief of Engineers from June 1926 to Aug. 1929. Edgar Jadwin graduated first in his class at West Point in 1890 and received a commission with the Corps of Engineers. Jadwin served in the Spanish-American War and assisted in the construction of the Panama Canal. He directed American construction and forestry work in France for a year during World War I, for which he received the Distinguished Service Medal. He headed the Corps' Charleston District and Southeast Division from 1922 to 1924. Jadwin served two years as Assistant Chief of Engineers prior to his appointment as Chief of Engineers. He retired from the military as a lieutenant general in 1929. Jadwin died March 2, 1931, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to his involvement in construction and forestry work, Jadwin is recognized for his contributions to bridges, flood control, roads, and railroads.
1 URS/Dames & Moore, "Architectural Assessment of Jadwin, Snow, and Park Villages, Fort Belvoir, Virginia." Report prepared for US Army Garrison, Fort Belvoir, DIS-Environmental and Natural Resources Division. (Bethesda, Md: n.d.). This report indicates that Captain Peaslee designed the L-shaped building in 1920-21. However, an early drawing includes the statement, "Design by H.W. Peaslee, Capt, CE, Aug. 7, 1919."