The vision of Windsor Farms as a residential neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia lies with Thomas C. Williams, Jr. Mr. Williams inherited a farm known as Windsor from his father, T.C. Williams, Sr. In the early 1920’s he began purchasing adjacent parcels with the purpose of real estate development. Once he had acquired 440 acres, he engaged the highly regarded landscape architect and city planner John Nolen to realize his vision. Together the two created an English village designed in the garden suburb style which became popular in England at the turn of the century and later in United States. Windsor Farms, Inc. marketed to the well-to-do of Richmond to draw them out of the grime and crime of the city for bucolic country living without giving up the modern conveniences of fire, police, public sewer and water, access to doctors, transportation and schools of the city. Originally part of Henrico County, the City of Richmond annexed the land in 1942.
The original architectural standard specified in the land purchase agreement required that architectural plans be submitted to Windsor Farms to ensure the plans are “suitable and
appropriate for this class of development, and in keeping with the other buildings erected.” Leading architects of the day, William Lawrence Bottomly, Duncan Lee and Clarence Huff designed new homes in the English Tudor and European Revival style. Charles Gillette, renowned landscape architect, created numerous gracious gardens to complement the new homes.
The centerpiece of the neighborhood, the Community Hall on Dover Road, was home to small shops, a tea room run by the Junior League of Richmond, and an artist’s studio, and was the delivery point for residents’ mail. Windsor Farms was developed with the new automobile in mind, with 12 miles of roads, none of which are pass-throughs to prevent unnecessary traffic. The 11 common areas, totaling twenty acres, are open to residents and their guests and maintained by a local landscape firm.
Today the neighborhood is nearly 100 years old and retains its stately charm.