Marion, VA: Abijah Thomas House Conceptual Site Master Plan
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The goal of this project was to develop a conceptual site master plan for the Abijah Thomas house (herein referred to as the Octagon House), including it’s current grounds, and surrounding properties (to be purchased in the future) and to depict the Octagon House Foundation’s vision for a historical, educational, and cultural attraction. Further, CDAC explored opportunities to link the Octagon House to regional trail networks such as the Appalachian Trail and the Gorge Trail. The current property is about 1 acre in size and is located at the corner of Thomas Bridge Rd and VA 657 Octagon House Rd. Several adjacent and nearby properties were included in the planning for their vision of the Octagon House. At the request of the Octagon House Foundation, one adjacent property located at the rear of the property (Richardson Property), two properties just behind the adjacent property (another Richardson property and then an Evans property), and the two properties across the street were included when creating the conceptual site master plan. The Thomas Cemetery was also included. This public cemetery, is located within walking distance down the street from the Abijah Thomas house and contains the Thomas family graves. The Community Design Assistance Center worked with a stakeholders group from the Octagon House Foundation to develop ideas for the conceptual site master plan. The site master plan was developed with the aim of potentially obtaining nearby site(s), but phased so that additional site(s) would not be needed to function in the near-term. The conceptual master plan can be helpful to the Octagon House Foundation, Inc. with fundraising as it will portray a visual depiction of their vision for the future.