MILLWOOD — Got $12 million? If so, an 87-acre estate that is one of Clarke County’s most well-known historic properties could be yours.
Carter Hall is for sale. The estate, which Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson used as his headquarters during part of the Civil War, is being sold by Project HOPE, a nonprofit, international health and humanitarian organization that has been based there since 1978.
Project HOPE also has offices in Bethesda, Md., but Carter Hall is its primary location. Cinira Baldi, a Project HOPE vice president and its chief development and communications officer, said changing global working conditions have caused the organization to need to consolidate its operations in the Washington, D.C., area where many of its corporate partners and other contacts are based.
The exact location where Project HOPE will consolidate has not yet been determined, Baldi said. How long it remains at Carter Hall will depend on when an offer for the estate is made and a contract is signed, she said.
Carter Hall officially went on the market this week, said Kelly Gaitten, a Loudoun County real estate broker handling the sale.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register since 1973, the estate is on Carter Hall Lane, off Bishop Meade Highway (Va. 255) northeast of the unincorporated Millwood community. Nathaniel Burwell, a militia colonel who served in the Virginia House of Delegates, inherited the property from his father, Carter Burwell of Carter’s Grove in James City County, and oversaw construction of a manor house there in the late 1700s. The younger Burwell died on the estate in 1814. His son, George, then inherited it.
History recalls that Union troops pillaged Carter Hall at one point during the war. Jackson moved his headquarters from Lexington to the property in late 1862, but he did not live there, instead preferring to camp with his soldiers.
Carter Hall has had various owners over the years. It also was a residence for Edmund Randolph, a former Virginia governor and U.S. attorney general who President George Washington appointed as secretary of State. Nathaniel Burwell invited Randolph, his cousin, to retire there.
According to its National Register nomination form, the two-story manor house is of late-Georgian style and built of limestone rubble. It has interior chimneys at the end of each section. Its center section is a five-bay block covered by a low-hipped roof. Flanking it are two-story, two-bay wings with pedimented gable ends. Similar single-story wings are at the extreme ends of the house, all five sections of which have a simple modillion cornice.
The manor house comprises 14,694 square feet and has four bedrooms and five bathrooms, a listing on Gaitten’s website shows.
Project HOPE operates part of the estate as a conference center that other organizations can use, such as for educating and training employees, Baldi said.
The lodging facilities can accommodate 42 overnight guests, said Gaitten.
Today, there are 14 structures on the property, including a three-story, 26,000-square-foot administration building used by Project HOPE. There are two stone buildings, including one that originally was a school and another that was a kitchen. Both structures are now guesthouses.
The estate also includes a greenhouse, several wooden outbuildings and former stables that have been converted to office space. Stacked stone walls outline the property, Gaitten said.
Dr. William Walsh, who was Project HOPE’s chief executive officer until 1992, acquired Carter Hall and gifted it to the organization as part of his endowment, Baldi said.
“We’ve not made any changes” to the estate over the years, she said, but “we’ve tried to maintain the historical characteristics and integrity of the property.”
Gaitten said whoever eventually buys Carter Hall might want to continue operating it as a conference center. Other potential uses, she speculated, include a small hotel or bed-and-breakfast inn, or maybe even a private boarding school.
Of Project HOPE’s 680 employees worldwide, 64 are based at Carter Hall, according to Baldi. They really hate to leave, she indicated.
“It’s certainly a big part of our history” that has become linked to the organization’s identity, she said. She noted that many people working in the nonprofit sector associate Project HOPE with Carter Hall.
Project HOPE employees have developed “an emotional attachment” to the estate, she added. “It’s become like a second home.”