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

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: Patsy Cline, Photos, Tax Credit Updates, and More!

Friday RoundupHappy Friday! There is a lot to cover this holiday weekend. First, the Celebrating Patsy Cline Block Party will be held Saturday, September 2 in front of the Patsy Cline House at 608 S. Kent St. The block party is free but tours of the house are $5. A special exhibit will be presented of an item that has not been on display before at the house. Attendees are asked to bring chairs to the event. For more information, call 540-662-5555 or visit their website.

For Friday Photos this week, we found some reference photos for the house art from Holiday House Tour 2003 and 2004. The houses are primarily on North Braddock Street, Washington Street, and Stewart Street. Check out the the 23 photos at the top of our Flickr photostream.

331 N. Braddock St.

From the National Trust comes the August and early September outlook for the Historic Tax Credit. There is information in the blog post about how to add your business or organization to a letter of support for the historic tax credit, how to check if your representative is a cosponsor for the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act, and information on how to sign up for a webinar on the historic tax credit September 21 at 2 p.m.

From CityLab comes the article An Architectural Rescue Gone Wrong by Mark Byrnes. In short, it is a familiar story on the struggles of preserving the recent past for “ugly” buildings that don’t seem to mesh well with a “traditional” city. In an even more familiar refrain, in trying to please everyone, it seems no one is completely satisfied with the efforts to save Paul Rudolph’s Brutalist-style Orange County Government Center after decades of deferred maintenance and hurricane-related damage.

Last, A Short History of Fire Marks, The World’s Hottest Insurance-Related Antiques from Atlas Obscura is a five minute introduction of some various crests, why they were used, and resources to identify them in case you find one in your architectural travels.

Happy reading, viewing, and listening this weekend!

Friday Roundup: Lecture, Book Signings, Grant Opportunity, Preservation Awards, and Photos!

Happy Friday! It has been a busy week for preservation news.

Jefferson in Paris1. The French and Indian War Foundation invites you to an afternoon of Colonial history on Sunday, March 19 between 2-5 PM in the Reception Room at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 901 Amherst Street, Winchester, Virginia. This is a free event with wine and hors d’oevres. Book signings of “On The Town Celebrating James Wood & The Founding of Winchester in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia” by Wilbur S. Johnston and Braddock’s Road Historical Atlas by Norman Baker will take place all afternoon.

Dr. Carl Ekberg will present a lecture and slide presentation on “Thomas Jefferson in Paris” at 3 PM. Dr. Ekberg is a retired history professor from Illinois State University who now resides in Winchester. He has traced the footsteps of Jefferson in Paris for the last 25 years. In 2014, he received La Médaille d’Or award from the French Ambassador for his numerous outstanding publications on the French Colonial period.

For questions on this event, please call 703-307-6696.

2. The National Fund for Sacred Places is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in collaboration with Partners for Sacred Places that provides training, planning grants, and capital grants from $50,000 to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities.

Congregations are urged to submit their letter of intent by May 1 for the Fund for Sacred Places for projects such as:

  • Urgent repair needs that are integral to life safety.
  • Projects that improve the usability or ADA accessibility of the property.
  • Renovation projects for important community outreach.

Visit www.FundforSacredPlaces.org for more details, including eligibility requirements, guidelines, and online application.

3. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is also taking applications for their National Preservation Awards until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 1. Nominate a deserving project, individual, or organization for a 2017 National Preservation Award – see the full list of categories, eligibility requirements, and online submission forms at the National Trust’s website.

4. Late breaking news from the National Trust – two grant deadlines have been extended until March 15! Learn more about the Johanna Favrot (matching grant for planning activities and education efforts focused on preservation primarily for public or nonprofit entities) and Cynthia Woods Mitchell (matching grant for Organizational Level Forum members or Main Street America members of the National Trust for preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors) funds. Grant funding ranges from $2,500–$10,000.

320 South Cameron Street 5. Friday Photos continues to add to our digital Holiday House Tour collections with 35 images this week, focusing on 320 South Cameron Street (the Parish-McIlwee House, decorated in a Victorian manner) and 312 South Cameron Street (former parsonage of the Methodist Episcopal Church, renovated into offices in 1984), and 501 South Loudoun Street (the Sitler House, an early log home built by Mathias Sitler between 1780-1797).

Catch the new images at the top of the photostream, or at the end of the Holiday House Tours album. Happy viewing!

Bonus Information: More updates on the historic tax credits in Virginia and for the federal program have come in from Preservation Virginia. Catch their updates on the two year sunset successfully added to to HB 2460 and SB 1034 and the introduction of the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act to Congress in their archives.

Around the Internet: Contemplating the Future of Historic Preservation

Around the Internet Like the world as a whole, historic preservation itself is a changing field with expanding goals and priorities. The book review How to Reinvent Historic Preservation by Amanda Kolson Hurley is more than just a dry look at two recent publications about historic preservation, but also a bit of a retrospective on this change in priorities. This is one of the primary angles to The Past and Future City. Hurley explains, “The new preservation movement cares about neighborhoods as much as individual buildings. . . It looks beyond architecture for reasons why a place resonates, often finding them in social history.” Although lengthy, the full article is worth a read to gain perspective on the evolution in historic preservation which has been taking place since the late 1990s and early 2000s.

You can see how some of the ideas discussed in Hurley’s book review were put into practical application at our closest National Trust site, Belle Grove Plantation, with A Different Kind of History Lesson at Belle Grove Plantation by Kelly Schindler. She recounts her experience spending the night in the historic site in some of the same conditions experienced by Judah, an enslaved cook at the plantation in the early 19th century.

We hope you were able to join in the webinar on Thursday discussing the future of the historic tax credit on the federal level (the event was recorded and should be available for review at the National Trust’s website soon if you missed it live). In the meantime, the Trust put out the article Three Buildings Saved by the Historic Tax Credit. You may also want to check out the Historic Tax Credit Coalition website, especially the Rutgers Annual Report on the Economic Impact of the Historic Tax Credit for 2015 and the Historic Tax Credit Impact Maps, to get some facts in hand to support the historic tax credit.

National Register Guide Videos

Confused about the National Register of Historic Places and what it means for you as a property owner, particularly since new areas of Winchester may be added to our existing National Register Historic District by this December?

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has put together a series of videos with Jim Gabbert, a historian with the National Park Service, to create the National Register of Historic Places Guide on YouTube.

You may start the video playlist to watch all seven parts, or jump directly to the video that interests you. Most parts are about 2-3 minutes in length.

Part 1: Basics
Part 2: The Function of the National Register of Historic Places
Part 3: National Register Restrictions Explained
Part 4: Why Should I List a Property?
Part 5: Basics of the Nomination Form
Part 6: The Statement of Significance
Part 7: Establishing Significance

New installments are being released on Tuesdays, so check back with the National Trust on YouTube if you can’t get enough of learning about the National Register of Historic Places.

You may also wish to visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) website, which is Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Winchester is located in the Northern Region Preservation Office, which is based in Stephens City. The DHR staff directory may be accessed here.

Submit a Site to the Most Endangered Lists

QuillDo you know of a historic site that faces an uncertain future? With a few keystrokes, you might change its fate! Below are two options to recognize endangered properties:

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has used its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness about the threats facing some of the nation’s greatest treasures. The list, which has identified 253 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that only a handful of sites have been lost. Nominations for the National Trust’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list are due March 2, 2015. Click to go to the National Trust’s nomination form.

Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Sites Program recognizes the Commonwealth’s irreplaceable architectural, natural, and archaeological sites that face imminent threat by demolition, alteration, inappropriate development, insufficient funding, or neglect. These special places play an important role in Virginia’s heritage and should be recognized before it is too late. Nominations for Preservation Virginia’s Most Endangered list are due March 6, 2015. Click to go to Preservation Virginia’s nomination form.

Sign the Historic Tax Credit Pledge to Keep our Historic Communities Vibrant!

Via the National Trust for Historic Preservation comes a short video highlighting some of the community-wide benefits the federal historic tax credits:

(View video on YouTube.)

We’ve seen tax credits at work here in Winchester, and it’s safe to say tax credits were key to rehabilitating the Lewis-Jones Knitting Mill, the George Washington Hotel, and now the Taylor Hotel. Still not convinced it’s working in Winchester? Take a look at this rundown of recent revitalization projects.

If you value the benefits of historic tax credits in your projects and in your community, take a few minutes to sign the pledge at the National Trust at www.preservationnation.org/taxcredits and help us keep the federal historic tax credit in the preservation toolkit.

Historic Preservation Advocacy Day

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is reporting on Historic Preservation Advocacy Day today, where representatives from the preservation community are visiting their elected officials and informing them that “Preservation Equals Jobs.”

The Trust reports that:

In 2011, the federal rehabilitation tax credit created 55,458 jobs and generated $4.02 billion in investment. One million dollars spent on rehabilitation, compared to $1 million spent on new construction, yields between 5 and 9 more local construction jobs. Preservation is a good return on investment—it creates jobs, encourages investment in existing communities, and supports the tourism industry.

The Trust also reported on three bills that have the potential to improve the effectiveness of the existing historic rehabilitation tax credit program:

H.R. 2479 and S. 2074, Creating American Prosperity though Preservation Act (CAPP), which would amend the existing program for commercial buildings to expand historic preservation’s community and job-creating power, encourage greater reinvestment in America’s Main Street neighborhoods, and foster economic development.
H.R. 2555, Historic Homeownership Revitalization Act, which would add a tax credit for owner-occupied historic homes that is similar to the current tax credit for commercial buildings. This will help revitalize communities, increase their tax base, and create jobs.
S. 1685, Rehabilitation of Historic Schools Act, which would amend the existing federal tax credit to make it easier to rehabilitate historic school buildings.

Read more about Historic Preservation Advocacy Day at www.preservationnation.org.

Catch the National Preservation Conference Online

If you couldn’t attend the National Preservation Conference in Buffalo this year, the National Trust has announced that you still have a chance to catch livestreams of plenaries and general sessions on Ustream. The scheduled broadcasts are:

• Opening Plenary (with keynote speaker James Howard Kunstler)
Wednesday, Oct. 19
4-6 pm EST

• General Session: Preservation in the Age of Sustainability
Thursday, Oct. 20
8-9:30 am EST

• General Session: Thinking about Shrinking
Friday, Oct. 21
8-9:30 am EST

• Closing Plenary (with keynote speaker Isabel Wilkerson)
Saturday, Oct. 22
10:30 am-12 pm EST

You can catch these livestreams — as well as links to other social media coverage of the conference — on the National Preservation Conference homepage at www.preservationnation.org/resources/training/npc/.