Cover Feature

Artistry of Timber Frame

by Cathy Purple Cherry, AIA, Founding Principal of Purple Cherry Architects

Architecture in many forms brings about a significant emotional reaction. A wood-paneled, smaller-scale winter room with a fireplace can evoke a sense of coziness. A detailed cupola perched on a rooftop can conjure a feeling of nostalgia. And there’s no question that a meticulously crafted timber frame structure with soaring ceilings and exposed timbers can summon feelings of history, countryside, stability, warmth, and times gone by.

Timber frame itself refers to the time-honored method of constructing a frame from heavy, large-cut square timbers. Long before the invention of metal nails, assembling wood buildings was accomplished by notching wood, fitting pieces together, and pegging the wood with a “wood” nail. This notching (mortise) and pegging (tendon) wood building method has been around for hundreds of years, memorialized in timber frame and log structures. Framing a structure in this way requires intense craftsmanship, artistry, and pre-planning, and results in lovely exposed timbers seen from interior spaces, one of the most beautiful building outcomes.

Transformation, Technology, and Teamwork: What Businesses Learned Navigating Through COVID-19

From the Desk of Elizabeth Cromwell, President and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce

The effects of COVID have created seismic shifts in our business community, and organizations are applying critical lessons learned to build a stronger future. We recently touched base with Chamber members to find out what they’ve learned and some new approaches they have taken to survive, transform, and in some cases, thrive.

Throughout 2020, many businesses honed in on communication as the most crucial business tool in the toolkit. Mike Castle, Vice President for Western Virginia at Hourigan, a construction and development firm explained: “Maintaining open lines of communication was key to our success throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular communication between employees and senior leadership, as well as increased virtual meetings with clients and trade partners, ensured that everyone was on the same page at all times.”

Anthony Woodard, CEO of Woodard Properties, agreed. “Frequent communication and selfless teamwork have been critical in navigating the COVID era. The uncertainty and challenges shined a spotlight on the individuals who make up our team, as it was their ideas that created the pathway forward and helped us get through it. There were no books or classes on how to push through the most troubling times. Still, we banded together and communicated well quickly, coming up with creative ideas to adapt and overcome. Then each team member executed their tasks with a team-first mentality.”

Pulling Out All the Doorstops

by Ken Farmer

In today’s world of central heating and air conditioning, very few of us think about leaving doors open for circulation or ventilation in our homes. In the 1950s, thanks to increased American prosperity after World War II, air conditioning units first became widely affordable. Everyday Americans were able to buy room units and enjoy cool comfort year-round. But in America before the 1950s and 1960s, people regularly left their doors open to help regulate the temperature. They needed something heavy to prevent their doors from slamming shut. In the Colonial period, people could have easily used a stone or a wedge to keep their door open but, rest assured, both local and commercial artisans started making decorative doorstops as soon as there was a demand for them.

Doorstops had been produced in Europe as early as the late 1700s, and by the late Victorian period, 1870s–1890s, many American foundries were casting and painting doorstops. The peak of doorstop production in the United States came in the 1920s and 1930s. Many retailers sold them, and even Sears & Roebuck offered some in their mail-order catalogs. Cast iron doorstops were made in just about every imaginable form, including animals, flowers, people, cartoon characters, houses, sporting figures, and fruit. The subjects were limited only by whatever might be in fashion at a given time and whatever people would buy.

Daylilies in Virginia

photographs by Robert Llewellyn

Daylilies are good plants for the beginning gardener because they are relatively maintenance-free. Daylilies are not true lilies (genus Lilium). They belong to the genus Hemerocallis, from the Greek words meaning “day” and “beauty” or “beautiful for a day.” This is appropriate because each blossom typically lasts no more than a day. However, each plant produces an abundance of buds, so the total blooming time of a well-established clump may be 30 to 40 days.

When the Best Classroom is Not a Classroom

Miller School of Albemarle is getting back to its roots with a new, sustainable, modern farm on the 1,600–acre campus.
photographs by Jack Looney

Sitting on a bed of pine needles with the morning sun sparkling through the trees, students at the Miller School of Albemarle (MSA) start their academic day with a short discussion about chicken egg varieties before getting to work on what looks a lot more like a farm than a school. A mile away from the nearest desk or chalkboard, students sink their hands into the soil of the garden and haul water to for-aging pigs in the woods. These students are building a farm, and there is a lot of work to be done.

Wearing dirt-covered overalls and muck boots, one student casually mentions a little-known fact about the school’s heritage breed mix of Mulefoot and Berkshire pigs: “Our pigs are runners. They dash through the woods and weave through trees. They run together in a pack. They barrel down hills and push themselves on uphill runs. Pigs love to run.”

The 2021 Governor’s Cup® and Gold Medal Wine Trail

The Virginia Wineries Association Governor’s Cup Wine Competition judging awarded 47 wineries with 96 gold medals in the 2021 Virginia wine competition. Held over a four-week period, the competition is one of the most stringent and thorough wine competitions in the country.

Gold medal winners come from across the state’s winegrowing regions, underscoring the diverse landscapes and varied conditions that produce wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia Wine. Start exploring Virginia’s Wine Country today with the Virginia Governor’s Cup Gold Medal Wine Trail, a mobile passport that brings gold-medal-winning wineries from the 2021 Virginia Governor’s Cup Competition right to your fingertips.

All Creatures Great and Small

Heritage Breed
Berkshire-Mulefoot Crossbred Pig

Berkshire hogs, a rare breed of domestic pig, originated in the Berkshire area of England some 200 years ago, fattened on waste products from London’s dairies, breweries, and distilleries. Berkshire pigs are one of the old-est identifiable breeds. These black pigs, with white “points” (white areas on their feet, snout, and tail), were documented in the English “shire of Berks” more than 350 years ago and made their way to the United States in the early 1800s. In 1875, breeders formed the American Berkshire Association, making it the first breeders group and swine registry.

The Flag of The United States of America

Albemarle Magazine


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