Adam Thoroughgood House Rehabilitation and Visitor Center 


Historic Rehabilitation

The Adam Thoroughgood House was rehabilitated in accordance with federal standards for historic preservation. The house, which was acquired by the city of Virginia Beach in 2003, is a nationally registered historic property and a seminal example of early colonial architecture. Waller, Todd and Sadler, a Woolpert Company, followed all federal standards during the provision of historically sensitive maintenance and repairs to this invaluable educational asset. The project consisted of mitigating moisture infiltration and replacing damaged entrances and masonry. Drainage around the foundation of the building was addressed in aesthetically and historically conscious ways, through both an underground preventative membrane and a French drain. It was also necessary to install and update modern systems, such as HVAC, lighting, fire protection and security, to ensure the structure’s continued use as a house museum. All materials and design features were chosen with the guidance of an in-house architectural historian and executed by the firm’s experienced historic architect. 

Visitor Center

Waller, Todd and Sadler also provided architectural and engineering services for the programming, schematic design and design development of a new visitor center at the site. The team provided upgrades to the parking area, accessible restroom and sidewalks. Currently on the boards, the final design concept uses an entrance hallway to divide the building into two areas: the exhibition/collections area and staff area. This design allows special attention to be paid to the building envelope and HVAC system of the exhibition/collections area. It also separated the building mass into two parts to better align the building scale with that of the Adam Thoroughgood House. The forms and style of the building masses seek to establish an austerity similar to a barn vernacular, similar to the barn structure often used for outbuildings of that era. The collections storage room and the exhibition/education space required special vapor control. 

City of Virginia Beach 

Virginia Beach, VA 


  • Architecture 
  • Engineering 
  • Planning 
  • MEP Engineering 
  • Fire Protection and Code Consulting