ArtScape Festival

ArtScape returns to Old Town Winchester on June 26 from 2-7pm. The event will be held at the Old Town Event Center at 403 S. Loudoun St. and is free and open to the public.

The festival will feature live music, artist booths for the 2010 banner artists, and wine, beer, food and beverages for sale. The food and beverage and art sales will help to kickstart the 2011 ArtScape program as well as fund other art-related projects downtown.

For more information, call the Shenandoah Arts Council at 540-667-5166. Visit SAC online at

46th Annual Meeting on June 26

PHW’s 46th Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 26 at 3 p.m. at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. The meeting will begin with a review of the fiscal year. Following that presentation, the 2010-2011 board will be elected by the membership. This year the by-laws will also be revised. Before adjourning for a reception, the 2010 Preservation Awards will be presented.

Two Properties Named to State Endangered List

Vic Bradshaw covered the news of the Taylor Hotel and the Aulick house at 414 South Braddock Street being listed in a state-wide list of endangered properties. While  it is not an honor, it is a hope that the  inclusion of the properties will raise awareness of the serious risks of  deferred maintenance.

[Richard] Bell said that while he hopes the exposure of the two properties on the endangered list will prevent other owners from letting structural problems linger, PHW is concerned that one or both buildings could disappear from the local streetscape.

“There is a real risk,” he said, “of losing them forever.”

Click here for the Winchester Star story. (Login required).

Click here for the full list of endangered properties recognized by Preservation Virginia.

Two Structures on Mall Declared Blighted

City Council voted unanimously to declare the Taylor Hotel and the “Blind Faith” building, both on the Loudoun Street Walking Mall, blighted structures at last night’s Council meeting.

While there is no word yet on future action for the “Blind Faith” building, a potential purchaser is looking to buy the Taylor.

In a phone interview, Erik Wishneff said  the development group [Brian Wishneff & Associates] has presented a signed contract to Denver Quinnelly, a Lafayette Plaza principal. The development group still has due-diligence work to complete before the sale is completed, he said. . . .

Brian Wishneff & Associates . . .  is the co-owner of the second phase of the Our Health complex and has worked with Oakcrest Development to manage the tax-credit process for a historic building on Loudoun Street.

To read more of last night’s City Council coverage, visit Vic Bradshaw’s article Council declares three structures as blighted, including the former Taylor Hotel building at the Winchester Star Online (login required).

Two Meetings in May for Preservation Virginia

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Branch of Preservation Virginia will have two meetings in May 2010.  The first meeting is the rescheduled winter quarter meeting that was cancelled due to the snow.  The second meeting is the regular spring quarter meeting.

The meetings will be at Springsbury Farm in Clarke County on May 2, 2010, and at the Hottel-Keller Homestead in Shenandoah County on May 16, 2010.   These sites, located in the northern and southern parts of the NSV Branch territory, represent two very different examples of settlement in the Shenandoah Valley.  Both sites are in the development stage with on-going research and planning efforts for the long-term preservation and public interpretation of historic resources.  The NSV Branch is honored to offer you the rare opportunity to see these properties and to witness historic preservation in action.

Continue reading Two Meetings in May for Preservation Virginia

One City, Two Districts

As the rezoning request of the Amherst Street corridor last week highlighted, Winchester’s local historic district and National Register district currently have different boundaries.  What does this mean for property owners? Currently, the Amherst corridor has  the regulation of the local Board of Architectural Review, but none of the financial incentives available to other properties that fall within both the local and national districts.

Dave Shore, a Planning Commission member who served on the Historic District committee, said he thought the panel’s intent was to seek expansion of the national district to mirror the local district.

That would provide economic incentives for property owners to improve buildings currently subject to BAR governance but without the fiscal advantages of being in the national district.

The hope is that the incongruities noted in the survey will drive the redrawing of the city’s historic district, potentially contracting the district from “non-contributing” resources and expanding to include contributing resources currently ineligible for tax benefits.

To read more about the potential boundary changes from the architectural and cultural resource survey, visit Vic Bradshaw’s article at The Winchester Star Online. (Login required.)

Amherst Street Rezoning

Proposed plans to remove the Historic District overlay from several properties along the Amherst Street corridor were not recommended to move forward at yesterday’s Planning Commission meeting.

As Vic Bradshaw reported,

. . . Chairman Nate Adams objected to removing the property from the local historic district specifically to advance a project. He said other businesses have obtained BAR approval to build in the district, and he was concerned that others might expect similar consideration in the future.

‘I’m not sure why we should carve out an exception here,’ said Adams.

Read the full article at The Winchester Star online (login required).