Polly Hulfish Collection Finding Aid MS408

Polly Hulfish Collection Finding Aid MS408


Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library

717 Queen Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Business Number: 703-746-1791
URL: http://alexlibraryva.org/lhsc

K Holtz

Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library
Polly Hulfish Collection (MS408) 1961-1972
6.67 Cubic Feet
Hulfish, Marianne "Polly" Minnigerode (Maigne), 1908-1981
English .

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sherry Hulfish Browne, 2018.

Biographical / Historical

Marianne Minnigerode Maigne "Polly" was born July 24, 1906 in Manila, Philippine Islands, to Charles Minnigerode Maigne and Florence English Davidson Maigne, while her father was stationed as a Lieutenant in the Army's 7th Cavalry. After her parents' divorce, Polly lived with her grandparents in Alexandria, Virginia, where her mother was a successful house preservationist and landlord. Polly studied art at the Corcoran and at the National School of Fine and Applied Art and became a decorative artist. Her talents and abilities were in constant demand until she was well into mid-life when her focus turned to the renovation and restoration of historic properties.

Polly married Tom Hulfish, Jr., in 1929. After Polly's mother died in 1942, she inherited the family home along with her mother's rental properties. Renovating her own home, managing rental houses, as well as keeping up with her art commissions, and raising her children kept her busy until the late 1950's, when she decided it was time to update the rental properties. While renovating these houses, she purchased others to save and restore. This marks the beginning of her passion for saving historic homes that otherwise might have met the wrecking ball. In January 1961, she founded Old Alexandria Restoration, Inc. From 1961 through 1974, this organization dramatically transformed approximately 50 houses in Alexandria. These homes became known as "Polly Houses." She was involved in many additional, smaller restoration and renovation projects, and thus her influence was extensive within the Old Historic District of Alexandria.

Polly served on Alexandria's Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for nine years. She was honored both by the city of Alexandria and the Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission for the work she did within the Old and Historic District of Alexandria. Polly retired from her position on the BAR in 1976 and died October 17, 1981.

Scope and Contents

Records kept by Polly Hulfish from the operations of the Old Alexandria Restoration, Inc. (1961-1974). These records consist of documents pertaining to almost 100 houses in Alexandria purchased, renovated, and restored by the organization. Documents include those covering the purchase and sale of each property, receipts from the businesses that provided services and materials, tax records, employment records, blueprints and drawings, photographs, news clippings, all Corporation records, and miscellaneous notes.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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Container List

Series I: Personal and Miscellaneous Papers
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Series II: Old Restoration Inc., Business Records
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Series III: House Restorations
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Series IV: Rolled Blueprints
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Series V: Photographs
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