1210 Sophia Street


1210 Sophia Street – Can it be Saved?

By HFFI Staff

(Updated 5/1/2017)

1210 Sophia Street is in danger of being demolished. If the clock runs out—it will be gone. But there is a chance to relocate this 100+ year old property to a new location. YOU can help save it!


1210 Sophia Street

1210 Sophia Street – Photo Credit: Fredericksburg City Staff

Located within Fredericksburg’s Downtown Historic District, 1210 Sophia Street is a contributing resource. This modest building, situated along the Rappahannock River, is an example of housing used by Fredericksburg’s working class residents at the turn of the twentieth century. It is in good condition and structurally sound, but the only option besides demolition is relocation.


The City of Fredericksburg has offered up to $20,000 to aid in the costs of moving the house to an open lot within the city, but no matter of its location it will remain under the purview of the city’s Architectural Review Board and the city’s historic district overlay. But there is a deadline, so don’t delay! Help us get the word out, and this 1890’s house may once again be called a home.


Built in 1894, this two-story house was built for Gilbert C. Walker, an iron worker, and it remained in the Walker family for almost 100 years. The rear addition was added in 1953, (identified through an independent archive of city records), and Sanborn Maps as well as census records round out the history of the house and its residents. (Special thanks to Kate Schwartz, Historic Resource Planner—City of Fredericksburg, for her efforts in researching the history of this home. – Read more about the history of this home here.)


1210 Sophia Street Interior

1210 Sophia Street Interior – Photo Credit: Fredericksburg City Staff

Do you own a lot that this building could be moved to? Or perhaps you know someone who does? This is a chance for us to save a historic building from demolition, and HFFI is happy to see the city contributing funds from the Blight Abatement Fund to assist in the project.


Learn more and read the city’s Memorandum to the Architectural Review Board about 1210 Sophia Street (including additional history and applicable Historic District Design Standards & Guidelines).


Also online, read The Free Lance-Star article about the city’s decision to remove the building.


For UMW student, and HFFI intern, Kiernan Ziletti’s perspective on the situation, read his article featured in the March issue of Front Porch Magazine.


Questions or ideas on how to save this historic building?  Contact us at [email protected] or 540-371-4504, or Kate Schwartz at [email protected] or 540-372-1179.


UPDATE: An open lot near downtown has been located, further details to be worked out. Are you interested in taking on this project? Contact HFFI at 540-371-4504 to learn more.


UPDATE – 5/1/2017:

The official RFP for the sale of this building has been released and can be seen on the Fredericksburg website at http://www.fredericksburgva.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=82

Closing date/ time – 9/21/2017 2:00 PM

Pre-bid Meeting – May 4, 2017, 10AM at site

Contact Person – Lynn Enders
[email protected]




Five-story “One Hanover” condominium project


Preserve FXBG image-one hanover

Image compilation by Preserve FXBG. Black and white drawing source – ARB application, NBJ Architecture. Color image source – Google Earth


On Monday, March 14th, the Fredericksburg Architectural Review Board (ARB) will review an application for a five-story condominium project to be located at the corner of Sophia and Hanover Streets. This building is proposed to be 56′ tall. The project received a variance from the city to allow it to be built 6′ taller than the current height limit.

This building will be 10′ taller than the recently proposed townhouses on the 300 block of George Street.

The proposed design was approved in 2013 but that expired after one year, so they must now reapply. This is our one chance to speak up and get public comment on the record about the project.

One Hanover

Image source – ARB application, NBJ Architecture

HFFI is not against the development of this corner, we understand that in growing we sometimes must sacrifice things, and we would like to see a compromise when it comes to the design of this building. The building’s height is the largest of our concerns. We hope with enough voices from the community we can encourage a scaled down version of this project.

If you would like to comment on this project, please come to the ARB meeting on Monday evening, March 14th at 7:30 p.m. You do not need to put your name on a list ahead of time, just attend and come forward when the case is being heard.

Click here to learn more about the current One Hanover project application.

Read the March 11th Free Lance-Star article about the project here.

It is the collective voice of our community that speaks the loudest, and we are very grateful for your input!

Read the full agenda for the March, 14, 2016 Fredericksburg ARB meeting

When contacting or addressing members of the Architectural Review Board, please remember to be polite and courteous. They give much of their time to make the city a better place; please be respectful in your communication.


NOTE: When speaking before the Architectural Review Board, City Council, or the City’s other Boards and Commissions, please respect the following guidelines:

Clearly state your name and address.
Take no more than five (5) minutes (brevity is appreciated).
Confine your comments to City business.
Personal attacks on board members or others will not be tolerated.



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Additional Updates


Read the comments from 2013 HFFI Executive Director, Sean Maroney, when the project was first brought before the ARB (2013). In his comments Mr. Maroney urges the ARB (and all citizens) to consider the implications of the many large-scale projects being considered, or that have already being constructed, in downtown Fredericksburg—many being more than 60,000 square-feet.


If you cannot attend the meeting and would like to submit comments to the ARB, they can be sent to Kate Schwartz, Historic Resources Planner, [email protected]. She will then forward them onto the members of the ARB and enter them into the public record.