Wanted: Fixer-Upper for Historic Home in Lorton

Wanted: Fixer-Upper for Historic Home in Lorton

Hannah P. Clark property is part of the Resident Curator Program.

The exterior of the Hannah P. Clark House, located at 10605 Furnace Road, Lorton.

The exterior of the Hannah P. Clark House, located at 10605 Furnace Road, Lorton. Photo by Steve Hibbard.


David Buchta, Heritage Conservation Branch Manager for the Fairfax County Park Authority, with Stephanie Langton, Resident Curator Program Manager, at the Hannah P. Clark historic house in Lorton.


The living room area of the Hannah P. Clark house has hand-hewn floor joists and a repurposed fireplace.

The Fairfax County Park Authority held an Open House on Saturday for the historic Hannah P. Clark (Enyedi) property, dating back to 1876 and located at 10605 Furnace Road, Lorton. The 1,250-square-foot house is part of the Old Colchester Park and Preserve and available through the Resident Curator Program where individuals or organizations can secure long-term lease agreements in public park settings in exchange for a financial commitment towards rehabilitating and maintaining the property.

The curators partner with Fairfax County and can live there for free if they agree to rehabilitate and maintain the property, in accordance with preservation standards, as well as do grounds upkeep. The curator agreements are determined through a competitive application process based on a formal proposal, competency in historic preservation, financial capabilities, and other criteria. A curator can be a private citizen, a non-profit entity, or a for-profit entity.

According to Resident Curator Program Manager Stephanie Langton: “The purpose of this program is to preserve these properties. And to not only put them back to use but put them back to use for public benefit. And so, the program allows the County to offer long-term lease agreements to qualified tenants. There’s an application process with no cash rent collected but in exchange for the tenant’s financial commitment to rehabilitate and maintain the property for a long-term lease.”

She said the program was adopted in 2014 and there are more than 20 of these properties on public land, owned by Fairfax County, either vacant or underutilized, and in need of significant repair.

THE PERIOD OF SIGNIFICANCE for the Hannah P. Clark house is 1876 to 1925, during which she constructed, expanded, moved and resided in the house. The earliest portion of the house was constructed in 1876 during Virginia’s Reconstruction Period after the Civil War. It was built as a one-room plan, two-story stack house with vertical log framing. It was originally located on a 2.33-acre parcel adjacent to the railway. An addition was added on the west side circa 1885, doubling the size of the house.

Due to the early 20th-century expansions and improvements to Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, Clark was forced to move the house across the road where it stands today. A one-story kitchen addition on the south side was constructed by 1903 but may have been rebuilt or modified after the house was moved circa 1915.

Today, the house is a two-story, cross-gable vernacular farmhouse with 1,250 square feet of finished space. It has three bedrooms; one full bath and one-half bath. It features vertical-peeled-log framing construction and a living room with rough-hewn joists in the ceiling. It has a brick and concrete foundation; asphalt shingle roof; sun room entrance foyer; eat-in kitchen; separate office; one fireplace; and narrow plank pine floor. The house has well-water; a new septic system installed over the summer; and gas and electricity.

IN 1986, artist Janos and his wife Diana Enyedi purchased the property and they began construction on a new art studio on the land. They named the studio Furnace Road Studio after the road to which the house fronts. During the Spring of 2011, the Enyedis sold the house and Furnace Road Studio to Fairfax County Park Authority.

According to David Buchta, Heritage Conservation Branch Manager for the Fairfax County Park Authority: “The Resident Curator Program is an effort by the Heritage Conservation Branch, Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County government, to utilize vacant, dilapidated structures in a new manner. It’s the opportunity for someone to not only have a great place in a park environment, but also to have no rent, no lease and they’re able to work on something with their own hands.”

He added: “They can also make an investment in the property. But in the end, it is the Park Authority’s property. But we look at this as a way to manage the properties over time because all the properties change, and in this case, we are utilizing these properties as a Heritage Conservation situation. All of these properties will be rehabilitated. We have over 27 of them and this is an example of our fourth one that we are currently putting up for open house.”

Application forms are available at: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/resident-curator-program. Call 703-324-8791 or email Stephanie.Langton@FairfaxCounty.Gov