21 South Washington Street

21 South Washington Street
The home of Richard and Melanie Lewis
Decorations by Debbie Langfitt

This Richardsonian Romanesque–style home at 21 South Washington Street was built in 1896 of limestone from the Strasburg area. The Baker family, locally prominent businessmen, built many of the homes in this block of South Washington Street around the turn of the twentieth century. Col. Harry Hunt Baker, mayor of Winchester from 1904-1912, constructed this castle-like building as his home. The interior features floors of long-leaf yellow pine and hand carved woodwork with lotus flower motifs. For many years, it was the home of Eloise Strader and Dorothy Overcash, two local teachers and historians. Richard and Melanie Lewis, the home’s third family of owners, have painstakingly restored the magnificent house to its former glory.

The home will be open for Candlelight Tours on Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m., and Daylight Tours on Sunday, December 3, 1-5 p.m.

102 South Stewart Street, Site of the Preview Party

102 South Stewart Street
The home of Robert and Tina Marie Scully
Site of the Preview Party
Open only on Saturday, December 2, 6-9 p.m.

The brick Colonial Revival home on the corner of Stewart and Wolfe Streets was constructed circa 1898 for James Beverley, Sr. The Scully family subsequently owned the home from 1923 to 1966. The house follows the pattern of the “Classic Box” subset of revival architecture, featuring a hipped roof with paired pedimented dormers, large double-hung windows, a full-width one-story porch with fretwork balustrade panels between the paired columns, and a solid door surrounded by sidelights and a transom. Lingering Victorian influences can be seen in the corbelled chimneys and gentle brick arches over the windows and doors. Even older interior items were salvaged from homes demolished on Loudoun Street, including a mantel identical to one found in Thorn Hill Manor. In 1996, Robert and Tina Marie Scully purchased the home from the Winchester Medical Center and returned it to Scully family ownership.

The Scullys will open their home for the first time for this event, and only on Saturday, December 2 between 6-9 p.m. during the Preview Party.

Friday Roundup: Holiday House Tour, Preorder Wreaths, and Preservation News

Friday Roundup Happy Friday! We apologize for the radio silence most of this week as we finished up the printing and mailing for Holiday House Tour. Tickets are available now at all the ticket sale locations, and online ticket sales are being mailed as they are received. You can use the forms below, or on our website if the forms do not load in your email.

Preview Party and Two-Day Tickets: December 2 & 3

Sunday Daylight Tickets: December 3

Don’t forget, if you want to place a preorder with Nate Windle for some special custom arrangements and wreaths at the Bough and Dough Shop, you need to get your order in by next Wednesday, November 22 to guarantee fulfillment. Pickup will be at the Bough and Dough Shop Sunday afternoon on December 3.

While we are still monitoring developments in the historic tax credit, we have a few other pieces of news to share:

Winchester City Council will vote on “R-2017-46, A Resolution to Urge the President of the United States and the United States Congress to Continue the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program and to Otherwise Provide with Respect Thereto” at the Nov. 28 regular City Council Meeting. We are proud to report the City’s recommendation is to maintain the Historic Tax Credit as it exists because it has been an important tool in the redevelopment of local historic sites. You can see the resolution here.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is launching the African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The fund will be used to provide grants to African-American historic sites and train high school students through the Hands-On Preservation Experience (HOPE Crew). Visit their website to learn more or make a pledge to the action fund.

Open Culture posted the news that The Internet Archive has found a way to make some material published between 1923 to 1941 available for free online. While the first batch of materials utilizing this provision of copyright law may not be useful to local historians, it is a sign of things to watch for in the coming years.

Lastly, the PHW office will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24, for Thanksgiving. We anticipate the office being open as usual Monday-Wednesday, November 27-29. The office will likely be closed at least part of Thursday and Friday as we prepare for the Bough & Dough Shop setup.

Historic Tax Credit Update

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

“Despite vigorous advocacy by Republicans and Democrats in both chambers, the historic tax credit was not incorporated into the House tax reform bill during the mark-up process. On the Senate side, the Finance Committee acted last night to retain the HTC but reduced it from 20 percent to 10 percent of qualifying rehabilitation expenditures and eliminated entirely the 10 percent credit for non-historic buildings built before 1936.”

We still need your voice to call for the support and restoration of the Historic Tax Credit. There is a link in the Trust article to make it very simple to find the phone numbers for your representatives in Congress. Chances are, most of our readers are in District 10, so these are your contact numbers:

Senator (D-Virginia) Tim M. Kaine’s Office
Phone: (202) 224-4024
District Phone: (804) 771-2221

Senator (D-Virginia) Mark R. Warner’s Office
Phone: (202) 224-2023
District Phone: (804) 775-2314

Representative (R-Virginia District 10) Barbara J. Comstock’s Office
Phone: (202) 225-5136
District Phone: (703) 404-6903

Holiday House Tour Tickets Update

Time flies in November! We are expecting the program booklets to arrive late Monday, but if you have a strong internet connection, you can view or download the booklet as a PDF (about 22 MB).

Online ticket sales for the Holiday House Tour are available now at www.phwi.org. We will plan to mail online orders received by Friday, Nov. 24. For orders placed after that, keep a copy of your receipt to use as your temporary ticket.

We are planning for the tickets and program booklets to be available at our physical sale locations around Winchester by the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the following locations:

The Final Yard, 33 East Gerrard Street
Kimberly’s, 135 North Braddock Street
Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 7 South Loudoun Street
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road

If you are waiting to see how the weather pans out that weekend, tickets will also be available at the advance sale price at the Bough & Dough Shop at the Winchester Little Theatre, 315 West Boscawen Street, on Dec. 2 and 3.

And as in past years, if you only want to visit a site or two or take the Sunday walking tour, each site is a $5 single admission paid at the door (excluding the Preview Party home, which is full price to cover the food and drink).

Holiday House Tour Newsletter Online Now

We have finished the print edition of the PHW newsletter for Holiday House Tour. As we know the event will be here before you know it, we are making the PDF with all the house images and descriptions available now at Volume 40.4, Holiday House Tour 2017. The final page of the newsletter has a mail-in order form for checks, and we anticipate having the PayPal ticket order forms online and functioning by November 9!

Holiday House Tour 2017 Preliminary Information

While we are waiting for our printed Holiday House Tour materials to arrive and tickets to go on sale, we have some thanks and our first round of information to share about the tour.

1. First, thank you to everyone who has contributed shopping bags this year for the Bough & Dough Shop. We are close to our goal, but don’t let that discourage you from donating if you haven’t made it to the Hexagon House yet. We will happily take them through the rest of November. As always, any unused bags from this drive are held for the next year, or recycled if the bags cannot be reused.

2. If you ever wished you could place a custom order for finished greenery at the Bough & Dough Shop, we have you covered! Nate Windle will be taking custom orders for live and artificial greenery arrangements and wreaths this year. Be sure to place an order before Wednesday, November 22 with Nate to guarantee fulfillment. Pickup will be at 315 W. Boscawen St. on Sunday, Dec. 3 between 1-4 p.m.

3. While we gear up for the Shop, we also want to share a special, limited edition print of the Community Food Store. This landmark of South Kent Street was demolished in 2011 after it was deemed too structurally unsound to rehabilitate, but the memory of the building lives on. The image is reproduced from a watercolor of the store from 1989 with the familiar Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and RC Cola signs and vending machines in full color. The print itself is approximately 16″x20″, printed on an acid free substrate, with foam core backing and wrapped in cellophane for easy gift-giving or temporary display. The print run was limited to less than 50, and in total we have only 36 prints available for sale. You may pick one up at the PHW office or at the Bough & Dough Shop for $75 – either way, the proceeds from the print sales will be split 50/50 between PHW and the Winchester Little Theatre.

4. We expect tickets will go on sale by November 15 at the following locations:
The Final Yard, 33 East Gerrard Street
Kimberly’s, 135 North Braddock Street
Wilkins’ Shoe Center, 7 South Loudoun Street
Winchester Book Gallery, 185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 South Pleasant Valley Road
And online at www.phwi.org

Tickets will also be available at the PHW Office, 530 Amherst Street, but please be mindful as the Hexagon House is undergoing some interior tune ups and we may have minor interruptions, dust, and the general hubbub of a building getting some TLC.

5. The online map to the ticket sale locations, tour stops, Bough & Dough Shop, and parking lots has been updated for 2017 and is available for viewing. We will note the houses are a bit more spread out this year than in some previous years, and the sidewalks may be challenging in some areas on Loudoun Street in particular. On-street parking will be very tight or non-existent on Loudoun and East Clifford Streets. Carpooling is recommended!

The guided walking tours on Sunday will only cover the Stewart and Washington Street neighborhood and are planned to take about 20 minutes. The tours will go past 21 South Washington Street if you want to hop off for a house tour, but they will also return to the Bough & Dough Shop if that is where you parked your car.

Historic Tax Credit Alert!

Unfortunately, the fun of Holiday House Tour coverage we had been anticipating this week has been delayed by unfortunate news from Congress. We’re forwarding an urgent message below from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Virginia. On Thursday afternoon, we learned the Historic Tax Credit was eliminated in the House Tax Reform Bill. Contact your House of Representatives member and urge them to add the Historic Tax Credit back to the final House bill. Also, contact Senators Kaine and Warner and ask them to include the Historic Tax Credit in the forthcoming Senate bill.

This proposed legislation will have a devastating effect on our communities. The Historic Tax Credit not only attracts private capital for the revitalization of our community’s historic assets, but it also stimulates job creation and generates more revenue for the Treasury than it costs.

How Can You Take Action?

Contact House and Senate Members no later than November 6 (find your House Representatives and Senators) and ask for them to use their voice to advocate for the credit to be added back to the final House bill or include the Historic Tax Credit in the forthcoming Senate bill.

A suggested outline of your email message or phone call:
1. Introduce yourself as a constituent.

2. Say “I heard the historic tax credit is eliminated in the House version of the tax reform bill. I am extremely concerned that this important community redevelopment incentive will no longer be available to revitalize our main streets, towns and cities and preserve our heritage.”

3. Explain why you value Historic Tax Credits, and that the redevelopment of historic buildings will not get done without the HTC.

4. Let them know some previous and future Historic Tax Credit projects in your state/district. From the interactive HTC mapping tool developed by Novogradac and Company, the following properties utilized Historic Tax Credits in downtown Winchester:

Old Frederick County Jail | 317 South Cameron
302-304 North Cameron Street
The Old Star Building | 29-31, 33-35 East Boscawen Street
The Taylor Hotel | 119-129 N. Loudoun Street
146 North Loudoun Street
315 S. Loudoun Street
317 S. Loudoun Street
Union Bank Building | 101 North Loudoun Street
116-118 South Braddock Street
Snapp Foundry | 403-419 N. Cameron Street
The Savage-Solenberger Building | 140 And 142 N. Loudoun Street
Stryker House | 130 S. Cameron Street
133 East Monmouth Avenue
Lovett Building | 163-165 North Loudoun Street
Piccadilly’S Brew Pub & Restaurant | 125 E. Piccadilly Street
Charles Brent House | 320 S. Loundoun Street
The George Washington Hotel | 103 E. Piccadilly Street
445 N. Loudoun Street
Samuel Brown Residence | 35 North Braddock Street
The Lewis Jones Knitting Mill | 120 And 126 N. Kent Street
Adam Bowers House | 410 S. Cameron Street
The Douglas Adams Building | 403 & 407 S. Loudoun Street
Giacometti Building | 7 North Loudoun Street

5. Touch on why these historic buildings are so challenging but important to our communities.

6. Ask, “As tax reform moves forward, will Rep./Sen. XXX stand up for the Historic Tax Credit and use his/her voice to insist that the credit be retained in tax reform?”

7. Share with the office the video of President Reagan supporting the HTC.

Addendum: The National Trust for Historic Preservation has also put together a similar rundown on the threats facing the Antiquities Act, which was the precursor to many other historic preservation programs. Find their article at On the Hill: Bill to Overhaul the Antiquities Act Moves Forward in the House, Tax Reform Update.

Friday Roundup: Events, Ads, and Links

Friday Roundup Happy Friday! We are entering the home stretch for Holiday House Tour preparation. Stay tuned for details on that event – we’ll start our coverage of Holiday House Tour next week. In the meantime, we have some reminders of important dates coming up:

Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church 150th Anniversary Black Tie Gala is October 28, 5 PM at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, 134 Golf Club Circle, Front Royal, VA 22630. Tickets are available for $50; contact Cynthia Banks at 540-539-8262 for ticket information. The following day, October 29th, the 150th Anniversary Worship Service Celebrations will be held at 10:30 AM and 3 PM at Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 428 North Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA.

Holiday House Tour advertising sponsor slots for 2017 are due no later than 5 PM on Halloween, Oct. 31. We have room for up to two pages of interior advertising as of Friday morning. Click here for the call for advertisers post with more information. You can contact PHW at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577.

The Bell House Walk and Learn event is set for Thursday, November 2, noon-1 PM at the Bell House, 106 N. Cameron St., Winchester. Depending on the attendance, tours may be split into smaller groups, so the start time will likely be rolling. On-street parking is limited and most nearby spaces are metered; we suggest using the George Washington Autopark at 131 N. Kent St. There is an entrance to the autopark from N. Cameron St.

If all those activities aren’t quite enough, we have some other interesting links for your reading pleasure this weekend:

The preservation of the plantation Menokin in Warsaw, VA is a case study of what to do with an important historic site that has suffered major losses. While many would have looked at the ruins as a lost cause, the plan to preserve the building is to rebuild the missing elements, but in glass. This approach will retain the historic massing but not to obscure the structure of the building which has been exposed. Thanks to Atlas Obscura for bringing the Menokin website (full of all kinds of documentary photos and research) to our attention.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation posted a summary of the findings from the Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Historic Tax Credit. Last year was a record breaker, surpassing the 1986 record for the largest year-over-year increase (unadjusted for inflation) for completed projects. While it’s on the number heavy side, it is useful information to have when talking about historic tax credits and their impact not just on saving old buildings, but creating jobs, too.

Last, just for fun is Every Apple You Eat Took Years and Years to Make by Sarah Laskow on Atlas Obscura. The story is a peek into the work happening in an experimental apple orchard to find the elusive perfect apple – hardy, tasty, and beautiful. While not preservation-related per se, apples are an important piece of Winchester’s cultural heritage, going back to Winchester’s own research laboratory.

Saint Paul AME Church 150th Anniversary Black Tie Gala

From our friends at Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church on North Loudoun Street comes an invitation to their two capstone events to celebrate their founding 150 years ago.

On October 28th is the Anniversary Black Tie Gala. Mr. Rodney “Johnson” Ruffin, Vice-President of Business Development of Thompson Hospitalities will be Master of Ceremonies; Mr. Kelly Wright, Fox News Anchor will be the keynote speaker; and Mr. Jarohn Grandstaff, saxophonist, will be the musician. The event will be held at 5 PM at the Shenandoah Valley Golf Club, 134 Golf Club Circle, Front Royal, VA 22630. Tickets are available for $50; contact Cynthia Banks at 540-539-8262 for ticket information.

The following day, October 29th, the 150th Anniversary Worship Service Celebrations will be held at 10:30 AM and 3 PM at Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 428 North Loudoun Street, Winchester, VA. The services will be held in the same building which was erected in 1878 and majorly renovated in 2005.