The eternal question “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” has finally been answered. He’s in Fort Hunt, at least for the weekend.
Campbell is known for his five-decade career animating some of the world’s most beloved cartoons, including Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Rugrats, and the 1968 Beatles’ movie “Yellow Submarine.”
After retiring, Campbell partnered with Scott Segelbaum to put on a traveling cartoon pop art show featuring works inspired by his 50 years animating beloved television shows.
When the artist died in early 2021, exactly two years ago this weekend, Segelbaum decided to continue the show as a way of keeping his friend’s memory and legacy alive and help others remember their happiest days watching cartoons.
“Ron Campbell basically animated your childhood and your parents’ childhood — and their parents’ childhood,” Segelbaum told FFXnow.
When setting the show’s schedule for the year, Philadelphia native Segelbaum looked up art galleries in Alexandria after hearing great things about the local art scene. That’s how he found Nepenthe Gallery.
The relatively new art gallery located in the Hollin Hall shopping center on Fort Hunt Road was opened by the husband-and-wife team of Carrie and Jim Garland in March 2022.
They dreamed of owning a business together after their kids grew up, and an art gallery was a natural fit, considering their families’ long history of collecting art. So, the Garlands opened Nepenthe Gallery and a frame shop below the gallery, which is about a mile from their home in a space that used to be a Curves gym.
“We still get women who come in,” Carrie said. “I always tell them they are welcome to exercise here.”
The gallery’s location in Fort Hunt near the Hollin Hills historic district is in the middle of what Carrie calls an “art-centric corridor” between Old Town Alexandria and Mount Vernon.
Carrie and Jim both noted that their gallery is open to all sorts of styles of art. They never want to “pigeonhole” it, as Jim said.
So, when Segelbaum reached out about bringing his cartoon pop art show, the Garlands were happy to oblige. Read More
Hollin Hills could soon get another layer of oversight to preserve the hundreds of stylistic, mid-20th century homes built in the area.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on Wednesday (Feb. 23) to recommend designating Hollin Hills as a Historic Overlay District, which would require approval from the county’s Architectural Review Board for certain projects, such as demolitions and the design of properties.
“The HOD is really critical to protect Hollin Hills, both as a historic resource and as a community,” resident J.G. Harrington said during a public hearing prior to the commission’s vote.
Located near Hybla Valley, Hollin Hills consists of more than 450 homes built between 1946 and 1971. Most went up in the 1950s and 1960s, under the vision of architect-planner Charles Goodman and developer Robert Davenport.
Known for its ceiling-to-floor windows on one-story homes and two-story residences built into the community’s hilly areas, the neighborhood is registered as a historic place nationally and by the county and state. It drew regular tours of curious visitors before the pandemic.
However, many residents fear that developers could ruin the aesthetic of the neighborhood, producing bigger but more architecturally bland homes and making lot sizes smaller.
“Today, buyers come to Hollin Hills because of the midcentury architecture,” said Barbara Ward, a resident of the community since 1989 and chair of the Civic Association of Hollin Hills’ Design Review Committee.
If the historic district designation is approved, the architectural review board could deny demolition permits, but developers would still be able to appeal the matter to the Board of Supervisors. The ARB would also make design recommendations for new buildings and certain projects, such as home additions.
“The guidelines emphasize flexibility and encourage site-specific solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,” a proposed handbook with design guidelines says. “They are guidelines, not requirements. Hollin Hills has evolved since the original development phases of the neighborhood, and will continue to do so.”
The book says the guidelines are not meant to “discourage change or growth” but “preserve, complement, and reinforce the modernist historic character of the district” by encouraging the use of compatible materials, among other principles.
Civic Association of Hollin Hills President Patrick Kelly expressed support for making the neighborhood a Historic Overlay District, recalling how the association began the process in 2017 with conversations and visits with homeowners.
Kelly acknowledged that there are some community members with concerns about having another layer of review, but most residents and homeowners agree on the need to protect the architectural integrity of the community.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck conducted a survey last September that found 62% of respondents were in favor of creating a Historic Overlay District.
“Only 30 homes have found to be noncontributing…after almost 75 years,” Kelly said, referring to residences that don’t meet the Historic Overlay District requirements but would still be included in it. “It’s testament to…the desire of our homeowners to renovate and continue to live in homes that meet the aesthetic of the midcentury modern harmony and conformity. And so, it’s not the past that we’re concerned about. It’s the future.”
The Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan amendment required to make the designation official will now go to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing on March 8.