Built in 1786, White Plains in King George County, Virginia is a late Georgian, early Federal residence, with restrained mid-20th century Colonial Revival enhancements – three styles central to Virginia architectural history. The house’s Colonial Revival elements were added during a restoration in the 1940s, notably carried out with a strong sense of preservation that appears to have “colonialized” relatively little of the existing historic fabric and instead ensured its continued preservation and use.
The two-story, three-bay frame dwelling has a clipped gable roof, two exterior end chimneys, a small porch on the south side, and a raised English-bond basement. Dendrochronology dates the building’s construction to 1786 under the hand of Aaron Thornley, though family histories reference earlier occupations of the property. James Quesenberry purchased the property in 1836, and undertook minor decorative changes to the house, but it remained essentially unchanged until 1940 when then-owner Alexander Walker decided to restore it according to the Colonial Revival style popular at the time. Though this did alter elements of the house, the restoration was respectful of the extant material and created a significant example of the Colonial Revival style, which had gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The house sits on a rise adjacent to a natural spring and small pond, which historically supplied water to the residents. Owners utilized the elevation change between the house and the stream to create a terraced formal landscape approach for the house.