Friday Roundup: Anniversaries, Events, and More

Winchester celebrates 275 years!
Winchester celebrates 275 years!

PHW was in attendance for the kickoff press conference on Winchester’s 275th Anniversary on Wednesday. As you know, we are working on touching up the Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture book for reprinting this year as part of the celebration, as well as chipping in with a few other things along the way (probably involving some big event we usually have in December…). There will be many great activities through the year, so keep an eye on the website – there is sure to be more to come!

Next week is Valentine’s Day, but for us at PHW, it is also our birthday! PHW will be turning the big 55. You might want to revisit our 50th anniversary history of PHW blog posts, which are collected here. As we concluded five years ago, “we feel we still serve an important role in the community and fill a much wanted and needed niche of providing information about historic preservation and architecture. We plan to serve the community for another fifty years. Thank you for your support and interest in PHW – we could not exist without you! “

The French and Indian War Foundation is celebrating George Washington’s 287th birthday on Friday, February 22 from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Half Note Lounge in the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St. The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Delegate Chris Collins will speak at 6:30 PM. There will be a cash bar and appetizers by Chef Marvin at $20 a plate. You can find the event listing on their website for more information.

In more business related news, Preservation Virginia is keeping tabs on items moving through Virginia’s House and Senate. You may want to drop by their website and sign up for their email newsletter to stay informed. The main concern is watching the historic tax credit (likely to be capped at $5 million, but according to Preservation Virginia this previously implemented change was not a significant blow to preservation efforts) but historic African American cemetery funding, war memorials, agritourism, and land conservation are all topics being watched by Preservation Virginia.

Friday Roundup: Old Hospital Development and Further Reading

Warren Heritage Society is announcing new hours and rates for 2019. They are actively seeking volunteers to help with their new Saturday hours – contact them if you can help!

We know a number of our members and readers are following the development at the old Winchester Memorial Hospital site on Cork Street. From the Winchester Cit-E News from January 23, ” After much discussion, Council decided to table the item until the February 12th Work Session in order to allow Council more time to gather additional information from the applicant and to review public feedback.” You can find the documents relating to the application starting on page 94 of the agenda packet for January 22. There is much to read and digest here, but we recommend reading through the neighborhood concerns and worries to gather a fuller understanding of the issue prior to the February 12 meeting.

While the Old Hospital property is outside of the HW zoning overlay that falls under BAR purview, it is in our Winchester National Register Historic District expansion in 2015. Readers may wish to refer to the following publications for more insight on compatible new construction in historic areas:
New Construction within the Boundaries of Historic Properties
New Additions to Historic Buildings
Regulating New Construction in Historic Districts
Historic Districts: Preserving the Old with the Compatible New
Can Modern Architecture and Historic Preservation be Reconciled? The Definition and Application of “Compatible” as used in the DC Historic Preservation Act
And should anyone be looking for one of the essays printed in Old & New Architecture: Design Relationship printed by the National Trust, PHW has a copy of the book available in our office library.
Last but not least, we have pulled the PHW file on the 1990 rezoning of the Old Hospital site and we are happy to provide copies of our statements to researchers.

Looking to expand your historic image and content searches for Virginia and West Virginia? The Digital Public Library of America has a new hub service Digital Virginias, with more than 58,000 items from the University of Virginia, George Mason University, William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University. A quick search for Winchester in this subset turned up not just photographs, but also a wealth of medical records for West Virginia soldiers treated in Winchester and telegraphs exchanged during the Civil War. You might want to take a look at some of the school images from the University of Virginia Library in particular; they seem to show the original John Kerr School classroom in 1921. Let us know if you find something intriguing!

Friday Roundup: Magazines, Editing, Grants, and House Tour and Shop

First, are you looking for some new reading material? Through January 31, 2019, AmazonSmile will donate 15% the purchase price of new print magazine subscriptions to the charity of your choice. Visit https://smile.amazon.com/b?node=18541223011 for details. Check it out and select PHW as your charity to give us a little boost at no extra cost to you!

Second, we are zipping along on the Limestone book faster than anticipated. We will probably have the first chapter ready for the proofing team the week of January 21. Let us know if you would like to join the editing team at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577. Copies of the previous Limestone book can be provided to volunteer editors for text and image comparisons.

Third, are you looking to expand your grant writing skills in 2019? The Foundant for GrantSeekers is sponsoring a free webinar “Planning Your Own Pathway to Grant Guru” on Thursday, January 31, 12pm Eastern. Learn more and register here. Related, you may also want to check out the recent Q&A post at the National Trust for their various grant programs. You can also find a link to the recording of the recent webinar that served as the catalyst for this round of questions.

Fourth, we are working behind the scenes for Holiday House Tour 2019 (tentative dates Dec. 7 & 8, 2019). This year’s event will coincide with the 275th anniversary of Winchester, and we are hoping to find houses to open from each century to showcase Winchester’s variety of architectural expression and history. We have two possibilities for homes from the 1790s and 1890s in the West Cork and Clifford neighborhood. If you have a home or building that is near this area, especially if you are in a home from the early 1900s through the current day, please let us know at 540-667-3577 or phwinc.org@gmail.com. Our preference is for buildings within relatively easy walking distance, so a neighborhood we have never visited like Lee, Stonewall, Joist Hite, Shirley, etc. could be a possibility. We have readers and members in this area, so if you or someone you know might be interested in opening your building for tours, speak up!

Of course, we are also working on Bough and Dough 2019. We had overwhelmingly positive feedback for the changes in 2018. We are in the process now of dotting i’s and crossing t’s for an expanded format with a tentative date range of Nov. 15 to Dec. 15, to be held again at the Hexagon House. We hope to have our application and information forms together in early February, and we will be sure to post here and on our website when those are live. If you are an artist hoping to jump in this year, our feedback indicated shoppers would like more pottery, ornaments, jewelry, and food items like fruit cake and mulled cider spices. We have discussed food trucks and artist demonstrations/workshops but logistics for these may be tricky (especially indoor setup). We will most likely have a few open house days again this spring and summer for prospective artists to stop in and see the space and planned setup to determine if we’d be a good fit. Keep an eye out!

Friday Roundup: Links, Updates, and More

Friday Roundup

A few times a year, we receive a question about insuring a historic building. This discussion recently came up on the National Trust’s online forum as well, and many community members shared strategies for talking to an insurance agent or some lesser known insurance agencies that are equipped to handle these special cases. Visit the Forum Connect discussion on insuring historic properties to see if this can help point you in the right direction for getting the appropriate insurance for your property.

We have been scanning away at the office, but this time it’s not for Friday Photos – instead we are working on the Limestone book reprint. However, you might want to pop over to our Flickr and check out the new Unidentified and Miscellaneous album. These are the odds and ends that were hanging around – let us know if you recognize any of the unidentified pictures!

Speaking of the Limestone book, we are still open to anyone who wants to be on the proofreading team. Drop us a line at 540-667-3577 or phwinc.org@gmail.com. We will be starting proofreading, fact checking, and potentially some image replacements chapter by chapter in late January the end of March. We can send files to you digitally, so you do not need to attend in-person meetings or work on a strict time schedule. Familiarity with the original book is not needed but may be helpful.

In other behind the scenes news at PHW, we are finally getting a filing system in place for our Frederick County architecture files. While most of our research files are based in the Winchester Historic District and easily filed by street and house number, we do have some files for interesting and important places in Frederick County. Most of those files, however, are only known by the closest intersection, community, a family name, or a building name – a much trickier task than street names when designing usability for future researchers and file expansion. As a starting point, we have set up our Frederick County files by magisterial districts and precincts. While the collection is small at the moment (about one banker box) we are looking forward to seeing this collection grow.

Friday Roundup: Curated Reading

Friday Roundup

We didn’t get to do too much exploration of our news feed over November and December, so it was a pleasant relief to find many of our favorite sites compiled “best of 2018” stories to browse. Here’s a small sampling of things we enjoyed reading over the past week.

What’s Up with All Those Empty Commercial Storefronts in New Mixed-Use Developments?
Rachel Quednau applies what is happening in Milwaukee with mixed-use development and takes a quick look at some other locations facing the same issues. Be sure to read to the end for examples from locations that are thinking outside the cookie-cutter box to provide storefronts that are reasonable for small businesses to rent and thrive.

Fifteen Opportunity Zone Resources Available Right Now
The National Trust for Historic Preservation rounds up what we know so far about Opportunity Zones and how they impact historic preservation. They will be hosting a webinar on January 17, so be sure to click through to the article and find out how to sign up.

11,000 Digitized Books From 1923 Are Now Available Online at the Internet Archive
Researchers rejoice! Open Culture reports on the watershed of art, literature, photography, and more entering public domain for the first time in twenty years. If you’d like a little more background on the topic, also check out For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain at Smithsonian.com.

Baumgartner Restoration YouTube channel
Not quite in the normal historic preservation wheelhouse but certainly an adjacent field is art conservation. If you would like to watch and listen to art conservation, there are a number of channels dedicated to this fine art. We especially enjoyed the narrated conservation of an especially challenging painting, “The Assassination of Archimedes.”

We know people are also probably very curious about Holiday House Tour. We estimate about 300 people enjoyed the event despite the rainy Saturday. The new format for the Bough and Dough Shop was also a success, finally surpassing the all time high sales numbers reached in 2000. This was the year the Shop was set up at the former location of the A&P grocery store, 525 Amherst St., and boasted over 35 vendors. That year was by far the largest space and the most vendors the Shop ever had in its 40+ year history, so topping that figure is truly a benchmark moment for us. We would like to extend our thanks to all our guests, homeowners, volunteers, artisan vendors, and sponsors who helped us make our holiday fundraising a success. We literally could not do it without all of you. We will be going through our internal debriefing on January 14, so if you have not turned in feedback yet, there’s still time! You can find the Shop survey and the Tour survey on SurveyMonkey.

Merry Christmas from PHW!

Since this is our last Friday blog before Christmas, we want to wish you a happy holiday. It has been a year of ups and downs, but we are happy to report we ended the year on a positive note with the early feedback from the Holiday House Tour and Bough and Dough Shop. If you are looking for a last minute gift or two from our 2018 lineup of Bough and Dough Shop artists, we still have those with a website or Etsy store listed on our Featured Artisans page. The artists would be delighted to hear from you – let them know you found them through the Bough and Dough Shop, too! The page will likely stay up as-is until the summer or fall of 2019 as we begin to nail down the next artist lineup.

We also still have the two feedback surveys open, the Shop and Artisan specific survey and the Holiday House Tour and Shop survey. Remember to be specific in your written comments, particularly in asking for types of items you would like to see at the Shop in 2019 (i.e., instead of saying “jewelry,” let us know what type of jewelry – metalworking, polymer clay, beaded, etc.). We will be reviewing the feedback in January of 2019.

As always, the invitation for you to join the Holiday House Tour 2019 team stands so you can make the event more of what you want to see. The drastic improvement to the Shop in 2018 was due entirely to rethinking event from the ground up by one person from January to August after watching the process for two to three years. The same can absolutely be done for the Tour itself from anyone familiar with its goals and ambitions. We strongly encourage anyone who feels that the House Tour is not meeting their expectations to take your written feedback a step further and give back to this community tradition through action. Make this your New Year’s Resolution, become involved as one of the volunteer leaders, and make the Holiday House Tour your dream event. Doing so will probably even give you more personal benefits than just producing a better event.

You may leave your information as a volunteer by stating specifically you want to take on improving some specific part (some feedback included allusions to writing and submitting press releases, running an Instagram, being a house decorator to make sure it meets your level of “festive,” etc. – all are very welcome tasks for volunteer leaders) for the Holiday House Tour at phwinc.org@gmail.com, by phone at 540-667-3577, or by snail mail addressed to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601. You do not need to be a member of PHW or join the board of directors to be a volunteer leader, but attending meetings to make reports, take suggestions, and give directions to PHW staff is critical, particularly in the final preparation stages of September-November.

And just for fun, you might relive your childhood a bit with a short YouTube video of Andy Davis at the Johnson County Museum exploring aluminum Christmas trees in the era of America’s space race and futuristic fascination. We hope you were able to experience one in person if you went to the Patsy Cline Historic House during the Holiday House Tour weekend. While they may be a kitschy throwback, they remain highly evocative of the late 1950s to 1960s holidays. While they don’t work for all homes, if you have a “newly historic” home from the 1960s, you might want to think about trying an aluminum tree for some properly retro vibes!

ShenArts Open House on Nov. 28

We know many people are super curious about the upstairs at the Hexagon House. Our upstairs neighbors, Shenandoah Arts Council, will host an open house upstairs on Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. concurrent with the downstairs shop hours. Take this chance to meet and greet our new neighbors and learn about their programs! You can find more information at their website.



Friday Roundup: Events Coming Soon!

While we might be deep in Holiday House Tour and Bough & Dough Shop (opening next Friday!), there are still other events you may want to check out.

First, Winchester Ciderworks will be hosting “From Apples to Cider: An Interactive Panel Discussion” on November 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Winchester Ciderworks, 2504 North Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA. The cider industry is booming, but it owes its local success to our region’s rich apple-growing heritage, which began in the Shenandoah Valley over a century ago. Come take part in the discussion among members of some of the oldest apple growing families of the region. From orchard origins through market trials and tribulations, to where things now stand, and where they may go in the future.

Next, if you have been curious about how our upstairs neighbors at the Hexagon House, the Shenandoah Arts Council, are settling in, you will have a chance to see them and their space on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. This open house coincides with the Bough & Dough Shop happening downstairs, so before or after you shop, go up and say hi!

As a friendly reminder, Holiday House Tour tickets will go on sale November 16 at these following locations in Winchester:
The Final Yard, 33 E. Gerrard St.
Kimberly’s, 135 N. Braddock St.
Winchester Book Gallery, 7 N. Loudoun St. (new location from last year!)
Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center, 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd.
Bough & Dough Shop at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St.

And tickets are on sale now online. We are currently holding orders until the program booklets arrive. We would also like to note there is a glitch with PayPal currently in the “continue shopping” button that takes you to the completed checkout page. You have not, in fact, checked out if you did not get an email receipt from PayPal. Make sure you get your email receipt from PayPal or we will not have tickets set aside to mail to you. You can find the button on our website www.phwi.org. You can always contact us at 540-667-3577 or phwinc.org@gmail.com if you have difficulty checking out.

Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative
Be sure to thank Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, one of the sponsors for the 2018 Holiday House Tour! Click the ad to view it full size.



Friday Roundup: City Hall and Hexagon House Updates

Friday RoundupFrom Tim Youmans, news on the City Hall renovation that could be of use to many of our members:

“Please note that the Planning Department, the Zoning & Inspections Department (including Code Enforcement), and the Engineering division of the Public Services Department have all moved into the newly created Development Services Concourse on the 3rd floor of Rouss City Hall offering ‘One-Spot’ customer service for our land development partners. The City Attorney office has also relocated back to the 3rd floor of City Hall from the Creamery Building. Construction is still underway in some parts of City Hall so please pardon our disruption. A formal grand reopening of City Hall will be scheduled in early 2019.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Hexagon House while we prep for Bough & Dough Shop. Please pardon our dust and watch for trip hazards while we shuffle tables into position and dig things out of the closets. The house will essentially be on reduced access (kitchen/stairs to access ShenArts from the rear door) Nov. 12-15 as artisan goods begin to arrive, but fret not – we should be able to chat house history and do some modified tours again when we reopen at the Shop November 16.

If you are an artist just now learning about the Bough & Dough Shop as the flyers are getting distributed, no worries! While our jury lineup for 2018 is full, we still have the online Google application and print and mail forms available. We know unforeseen circumstances may happen and a spot may open or we may have more room in our setup than we anticipated (remember, it’s our first year at this location, so we’ve never seen the space set up as a shop!), so we are still collecting applications. We will keep your information on file for 2019 and likely reach out again in March once we review how the changes we implemented this year worked out.

We are also still accepting new and gently used bubble wrap for the Shop, and if you are thinking of trimming any evergreens after Thanksgiving to early December, we would be happy to accept trimmings. Some popular greenery includes magnolia, holly (with berries if possible), cedar and juniper (with berries if possible), as well as pine with pinecones, boxwood, laurel, nandina, and other evergreen or berried foliage suitable for decorating.

We are also close to completing the Holiday House Tour booklet. If you are hoping to slip an advertisement in at the last moment, we can likely accommodate one half page ad (5″x4″, $150) and one business card sized ad (2″x3.5″, $75). If you have questions or need help, contact us at phwinc.org@gmail.com or 540-667-3577. Remember to get your ad in by October 31!



Friday Roundup: Holiday House Tour and More!

Happy Friday! It has been a hectic few weeks behind the scenes pulling Holiday House Tour together this year. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, there will be some changes to the tour schedule and offerings this year. While we are not 100% finalized, we are now looking at daylight tours only on the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday, December 1 & 2, 2018. Expanding on the experiment last year, there will be guided walking tours to take you past the sites open on the tour; like last year we anticipate the last guides will depart at 4 PM to give you time to complete tours by 5 PM. Details are still being finalized, so expect a final update with site announcements closer to Halloween.

Tomorrow is the grand Unveiling of the Shenandoah Valley Tapestry Project! It will take place Saturday, October 20th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at The Village at Orchard Ridge 400 Clocktower Ridge Dr, Winchester, VA. From the latest news on the parking: “All parking for the event is complimentary and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please plan to arrive early, so you can take care of parking. It takes 5-7 minutes to walk from some distant parking lots to the venue. Please follow designated pedestrian routes from the lots to the venue. Accessible parking can be found near the main entrance to the Village at Orchard Ridge. Please follow directional signage and directions from event staff for accessible parking locations.” We hope many of you will be able to attend and see the tapestry in all its glory!

Also on tap tomorrow is the Green Neighborhood Expo in Old Town Winchester, 11 AM-3PM. Stop by to learn about sustainability practices, energy, soil and water conservation, gardening, native plants to Winchester, recycling, tree care, and more. There will be educational displays, interactive demos and experts available to answer your questions. The event is free and open to the public, brought to you by the City’s Environmental Sustainability Taskforce. For more information, email the EST at est@winchesterva.gov.

While you are downtown, you may want to pop in to Winchester Book Gallery’s new location at 7 N. Loudoun for a book signing with author John Plashal for A Beautifully Broken Virginia. You can read a bit more about the book at the blog DC by Design between 11AM-1PM.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work on the last bits of Holiday House Tour. We have a lot of changes on tap for the Tour and for the Shop, so expect a few bumps along the road – however, we still believe we have a great tour lined up and are excited to share it with you!