Evelyn Davis House
In May of 2002, I noticed a house along Fairfax County Parkway that was abandoned and pending demolition. When I had some free time, I went to investigate it. I stopped along the parkway and took a few pictures of it, then navigated through the local streets to see if I could get a closer look.
The house was on a parcel of land which was being cleared to make way for a development of luxury homes. The developer's trailer was at the front of the property, so even though there weren't any No Trespassing signs, I stopped in to get permission to wander around. The saleslady didn't know anything about the house, but said I was welcome to go take pictures of it.
I made my way along a dirt path, through dozens of downed trees. Eventually, I came to the house. It was a white two-story house that looked like it was built in the 1930s. I wandered around and took a few pictures of it from the outside, and then carefully ventured in through the open (er, missing) basement door. I noticed some Calvert bricks had been used in the construction of the house.
The first room I came to was littered with musty-smelling papers... piles of brochures for the Evelyn Davis Playhouse in Washington, DC. Overturned boxes of similar promotional materials dating from the 1950s to late 1960s were strewn across the floor. I studied them for a while, and then carefully crept up the stairs to investigate the main floor.
At the top of the stairs was the kitchen, painted pastel green. I noticed the door to the cellar had a Corbin lock on it. The inside of the house had been pretty trashed. The walls had large holes smashed in them, and the windows were broken. A large rock was hanging precariously in a dented screen in the window above the sink. The refrigerator was missing. Oddly enough, someone had left a coffeemaker on the counter.
All the cabinets were open, with chrome handles that looked very 1930s-1950s. The nameplate on the cabinets said "Geneva." A pastel pink bathroom was outside the kitchen next to some stairs leading up.
Moving on to the living room, painted pastel green. Sliding glass doors at one end of the room led to a collapsed porch. The living room was covered in debris. There were LP records all over the floor, and some inexplicably embedded in the wall. It's like someone brought a machine capable of launching records at high velocities and just had a field day. Weird.
There was a proper fieldstone fireplace as well, not brick like you'd see in more modern homes.
The only other room on this floor was a porch on the northern side, which was painted Extremely Bright Yellow. I headed up the next set of stairs to the top floor.
On the top floor, I found another room painted in pastel pink, and a scattered pile of (unused) stationery for a resort spa in Colorado. I tried to piece together their backstory as I ventured into the next room. It was another pastel pink room, complete with an overturned computer desk. An AOL CD sat discarded on the floor. There was another pastel pink bathroom on this level as well. (These folks sure liked pastel colors...)
Finally, I came to what apparently was the master bedroom, painted entirely in Extremely Bright Yellow. There was a fireplace there too. I found a discarded Barbra Streisand CD (Higher Ground) on the floor. Apparently whoever lived there didn't like it enough to bring it with them when they left. (It looked perfectly good, but I didn't take it, either.)
I did help myself to a few of the discarded 1950-ish brochures I had found downstairs. I generally don't take anything from the abandoned buildings I explore, but I do make an exception for paper materials. There was a scrapbook with assorted correspondence and newspaper clippings about Evelyn Davis in it, but it was in really bad condition so I left it. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have.
The house was demolished about a month later.