Friday Roundup: Preservation News

Thank you all again for the thoughts and feedback on the tour and shop from 2019. Our tentative dates for the 2020 festivities are the Shop from November 20-December 13, and the House Tours on December 5 and 6. More information on the houses and how to apply for a spot in the Shop will be available as we progress through the year.

If you would like to clean out your closets and cupboards, PHW is willing to accept the following in-kind donation items: Gently used shopping or gift bags (paper or plastic, any size), wrapping material like tissue paper and bubble wrap, large lightweight planters, light strings and clip on spotlights, and wired edge ribbon. You may bring donations to the Hexagon House at 530 Amherst St. or leave a message for more unusual donations at 540-667-3577.

If you would prefer instead to give monetarily to a lasting monument, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is looking to place a monument to the soldiers of Maine killed and wounded at the Third Winchester battlefield. According to the Maine at War blog, this will be the first permanent marker to commemorate the soldiers of Maine who fought in the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War. There is currently a $1 to $1 matching grant challenge on to push the monument to its final completion. An online donation button is available on the SVBF website, or checks may be mailed to Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, Attn: Maine Monument Fund, P.O. Box 897, 9386 S. Congress St., New Market, VA 22844. For more information, please, contact Peter Dalton at jacksonsvc1862@gmail.com or 540-325-0787.

Preservation Virginia is beginning their monitoring and coverage of legislative action in Virginia, including actions on tax credits, conservation easements, cemeteries and historic monuments. They invite you to register today for their Legislative Reception on February 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Downtown (formerly Miller & Rhoads) in Richmond. That same evening, the Virginia Association of Museums is holding their annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Reception at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, also in Richmond.

Via the Forum Connect, you are invited to check out the Architectural Plastics & Polymer Composites in the 21st Century: Design and Preservation of Contemporary & Historic Architecture conference. It will be held on March 28-March 29, 2020 at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts and will cover in-depth a variety of issues surrounding plastics in architecture. Continuing education credits will be available. “Early bird” reduced registration rate is offered up to January 20th. Information and registration form on the conference are available online.

Last but not least, the senior living center planned for 333 West Cork St. will be discussed at the January 21 Planning Commission Meeting, 3 PM in Council Chambers at Rouss City Hall. Review the agenda and documents about the requests at the Winchester City website here.

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).