After it was made known that Arcadia and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have kicked around expansive plans for the land and property at Woodlawn Plantation, some of which is currently leased to Woodlawn Stables, Patch asked stables owner Cindy Mitchell to weigh in with her thoughts on the future plans for the historic 126 acres and mansion, which dates back to 1805.
The stable business lease on the land from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which dates back 34 years, is set to expire in 2016. After requesting an extension of the lease, the National Trust turned her down.
“As a responsible organization, we are focused on Woodlawn’s future as a vibrant historic site, which includes consideration of all options for this land. Therefore, we will not renew Scanlin Farms’ current lease that expires in 2016. The lease is not sustainable and extending it would not be a prudent business decision," said David J. Brown, executive vice president and chief preservation officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in an August news release.
In a National Trust article about financial challenges faced by the Woodlawn property, the Trust writes: "That's where the Arcadia Center comes in. The brainchild of restaurateur Michael Babin, Arcadia not only allows chefs and farmers to bring Woodlawn-grown food to local tables, but also enables Woodlawn to extend the visitor's experience to the landscape."
Meanwhile, here's what Woodlawn Stables owner Cindy Mitchell had to say, in response to a question from Patch, about her take on the future of the property:
"I don't really have much to say about what the National Trust for Historic Preservation will do with the stables' property after I am gone. It does not belong to me though I have cared for it as if it were my own for the last number of decades.
It is an incredibly special place, to me and many others, as you have seen over the last year and a half. The healthy growth fostered in the generations of students, both adults and children, who have come through our doors is something I look on with pride.
As a native Virginian and a native Alexandrian, I am honored to have maintained this piece of our cultural heritage for those who have enjoyed its benefits.
So many people, it seems these days, are not from this area and can not or do not accept the responsibility of passing on those benefits to others."
For more about the future of Woodlawn Plantation, read:
- Arcadia Proposes Restaurant at Woodlawn Plantation?
- National Trust Will Consider 'All Options' for Woodlawn Stables Land
- National Trust Will Not Renew Woodlawn Stables Lease
- Federal Highway Administration Offers Alternative Route 1 Widening Option
- Residents Voice Opposition to Route 1 Widening Plans
- Richmond Highway Development May Spare Woodlawn Stables
- Letter to the Editor: Arcadia's Future Plans for Woodlawn