Friday Roundup: Open House Weekend

The joint open house event with Preservation of Historic Winchester and Shenandoah Arts Council is still on for this Saturday, May 14, between noon and 4 PM. Free parking is available in the lot at the top of the driveway at 530 Amherst St. Look for the signage on the fence to find the driveway.

In case the weather is very stormy, the greeting table will be moved from the front porch to inside the foyer, still accessed through the front doors. Feel free to leave umbrellas on the front porch when entering.

The interior tours can be conducted at your own pace. There are additional signs mounted on the walls to help you learn about the building and expand on the pamphlet text. If you have questions about the building and its history, please let one of the volunteers know. Questions and comments will be used for subsequent revisions of the pamphlet.

In addition to the donation options, we will also have volunteer forms and nomination forms for our annual preservation awards, as well as other literature and walking tours to help you explore Winchester’s history and architecture further.

It is also that time of the year again when PHW looks to elect board members. If you may be interested in joining the organization and participating in a more direct way, we will have a current and past PHW board member on hand to talk about opportunities to help out.

We look forward to sharing our unique office with the community tomorrow to celebrate National Preservation Month. See you then!

Friday Roundup: National Preservation Month

Happy May! This year marks the 49th celebration of National Preservation Month, which was created to bring awareness to the work historic preservation does to preserve buildings and community character. There are always lots of activities this time of year to help you celebrate, but we have collected a number of the history-themed ones in our Preservation Month edition of the PHW newsletter.

We’d also like to share a little more detail on our National Preservation Month Open House set for May 14 at the Hexagon House:

For this special occasion, we will use the front door, facing Amherst Street, as our main entrance. Please note this entrance has a run of ten stairs to enter, but does have a handrail. If steps are an issue, the back door, which we use for our day to day business, has only two steps up (but no handrail).

Likewise, the upstairs will be opened by ShenArts. The upstairs is accessed by stairs only (20 steps, with handrail). If you cannot manage the steps, we will have a table for ShenArts info downstairs for guests.

Admission is free, but we encourage a donation to one or more of the following options (all are tax deductible as PHW and ShenArts are both 501(c)3 organizations):

  • General donation to PHW or ShenArts
  • Donation to the Godfrey Miller House Exterior Preservation Fund
  • Donation in memory of Dr. James Laidlaw, which will be used for exterior improvements at the Hexagon House in partnership with the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
  • Donation to the Sherry Bosley Scholarship fund, to create an endowment for local students pursuing a historic preservation education

In addition, we will be able to process membership renewals for PHW, and we’ll have a “book nook” where you can pick up a copy of Winchester: Limestone, Sycamores & Architecture and other titles. We encourage the use of cash or checks, but we will try to have a credit/debit option available as well.

And of course, we have finally completed the brochure on the history of the Hexagon House, which has been requested numerous times through the years. It will be available for the first time during this event. We are delighted with the final product and can’t wait to share it with the community. This first (in what we hope may be a series of) building-specific pamphlet was made possible by the generous donation of cover artwork by Linda Spollen Haile, and a donation by Karen E. Brill and William J. Meyer which covered the printing expenses for the brochure. Even if you can’t stay for a full walk through the house, we hope you’ll drop in for a few minutes and grab a copy of the brochure. Be sure to thank our project donors as well, because it was their support that made this brochure and event possible for the community!

Last, just for fun, PHW has made a quick personality quiz to suggest some architectural styles to fit your personality. If the embedded quiz is not working, find the direct link here. Let us know how we did on picking styles!

Friday Roundup: Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars! PHW and the Shenandoah Arts Council are teaming up on May 14 to host an open house in our office, the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst St. We invite anyone to stop by and see our unique office building, the only hexagonal residence built in Virginia. We will premiere the highly-requested brochure on the house’s history at the event, and visitors can pick up a free copy. This is also set to be one of the rare times the second story will also be open for tours, thanks to the partnership of ShenArts.

This event is held in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, which takes place every May. This year’s theme is People Saving Places. Historic place-savers pour their time, energy, and resources into protecting places they care about, often without recognition. Preservation Month 2022 is for them—a national high-five to everyone doing the great work of saving places and inspiring others to do the same.

In lieu of an admission fee, we encourage you to donate to one of a number of earmarked funds held by PHW. Online donations through Eventbrite will be marked as a general donation to PHW; you may donate in person at the door toward our directed funds. More information on the donation options will be available at the event.


The family-friendly Kidzfest day downtown will also be held May 14. Before or after visiting us at the Hexagon House, head to the Old Town Mall for exhibits highlighting education, art, music, sports and more. Information on the event is available at oldtownwinchesterva.com.


The French and Indian War Foundation has two events for the same weekend. First, stop by Washington’s Well at 419 N. Loudoun St. between 10 AM and 4 PM on May 14. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Fort Loudoun Day commemorating the beginning of construction of Col. George Washington’s historic Fort Loudoun in 1756. Look back into Winchester’s history during the 1700s via re-enactments, tours, and children’s activities.

Dr. Carl Ekberg presents a special luncheon and lecture “George Washington Gets Lucky, July 4, 1754” for the 20th anniversary celebration of the French and Indian War Foundation on Sunday, May 15. Head to the George Washington Hotel Ballroom for a 1 PM lunch and 2 PM lecture and cash bar. The event is $30 for members of FIWF and $35 for nonmembers; reserve your tickets by shopping online at fiwf.org/shop or by mailing a check to FIWF, PO Box 751, Winchester, VA 22604.


PHW is also accepting nominations for the 2022 preservation awards. If someone you know has completed a preservation project in Winchester or Frederick County and deserves recognition for their hard work, nominate them for a PHW award. The nomination forms can be found on the PHW website—nominate as many people or projects as you wish. Nominations are due by June 10 for consideration this year.

Friday Roundup: Celebrate National Preservation Month

Happy Preservation Month! We hope you’ll take a moment to show your love for our local history and architecture with a few of these ideas and activities:

Visit the National Trust for Historic Preservation for a new set of daily informative activities you can do to celebrate this year’s theme “Tell the Full American Story.” There is reading material, videos, images, interactive maps, and petitions and letters of support you can join and share.


Click to view the full letter. The donation form is at the bottom.

The French and Indian War Foundation is looking for your help! The organization has launched a fundraising campaign to help them retire the debt on the Baker-Hardy House, and every donation will be matched by the Wilkins Family Trust. The Baker-Hardy House serves as the organization’s resource center, and the hope is once the mortgage is paid off, other long-term goals for interpretation can take place. See the letter and donation form image for more information and how to contribute to the campaign.


The four City-owned museums (Abram’s Delight, Hollingsworth Mill, George Washington’s Office, and Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters) reopen for the 2021 season on May 10th. Each museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am-4 pm and on Sundays from 12-4 pm. Stop in and see some familiar faces, learn about our local history, and the view the current exhibit at the Hollingsworth Mill: “Quaker Families of Winchester & Frederick County.”


Demolition
Do you recognize this building? It may have been in York, PA. Share anything you know to help us flesh out our image captions!

We have been captioning images on our Flickr page, and we recently had an unidentified building in the midst of demolition come up on our randomizing program for captioning. Our suspicion is the building may be in York, PA, based on the demolition sign on the building. The slide’s imprinted date on the cardboard is November 1979, and it appears we had a series of three images of this building from different angles to use during informative slide presentations. We suspect the image may have been shared with us by our preservation consultants from Pittsburgh who assisted PHW in the 1970s. If you are familiar with the York area and can provide any further information or possible context on this series of images, please drop us a note!


Help us recognize local preservation projects and preservation leaders by nominating a person or project for a 2021 PHW Preservation Award. We are tentatively hoping to host awards in June, and as such, the award nomination form has been updated. Projects completed between June 2019 to May 2021 are eligible for this combined round of recognition. Awards are open to BOTH Winchester City and Frederick County. People or projects may be nominated by anyone (including the potential award recipient or family member) AND you may nominate an unlimited number of projects. Applications DO NOT need to be complete, but should at least have enough identifying information that the project can be further discussed by the award committee. Return applications or suggestions to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 or by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com. Applications should be sent by May 28, 2021 for consideration for a 2020 or 2021 award.

Friday Roundup: Newsletter and Preservation Month Activities

Hexagon House Backyard
Dogwood and redbud blossom in the back yard of the Hexagon House.

Our spring newsletter is here! Printed copies should be arriving in your mailbox soon (just in time for National Preservation Month), but you can read it on our website now (PDF).

You can get a head start on celebrating National Preservation Month, coming in May, with some of these ideas:

PHW Preservation Award nominations: As you know, last year PHW did not present preservation awards at our truncated Annual Meeting. We are tentatively hoping to host awards this year in June, and as such, the award nomination form has been updated. Projects completed between June 2019 to May 2021 are eligible for this combined round of recognition. Awards are open to BOTH Winchester City and Frederick County. People or projects may be nominated by anyone (including the potential award recipient or family member) AND you may nominate an unlimited number of projects. Applications DO NOT need to be complete, but should at least have enough identifying information that the project can be further discussed by the award committee. Return applications or suggestions to PHW, 530 Amherst St., Winchester, VA 22601 or by email at phwinc.org@gmail.com. Applications should be sent by May 28, 2021 for consideration for a 2020 or 2021 award.

Renew your PHW membership dues, or join the organization: PHW is a membership-based organization, so financial support through your membership dues is critical to help us keep the lights on, especially since we have not been able to hold many events during the pandemic. Individual membership is $30, but if you can’t afford that amount, we would still appreciate any amount you may wish to donate. The link above has more information, membership forms, and a link to our PayPal donation button.

Shop for preservation and architecture goodies: You can find a pre-order form in the latest newsletter for several books and art prints. Items are also for sale on our Ecrater store, and can either be mailed or picked up at the office Monday-Friday.

Take a self-guided tour: Last year we compiled all the tours we were able to find and placed the collection on our Holiday House Tour page. See if there’s one you haven’t explored yet to enjoy our local history!

Share your stories or documents: Do you have research materials you have gathered about a historic place in Winchester or Frederick County? Did you find a stash of PHW materials and don’t know what to do with them? We are always working on our research collections. Contact the PHW office to arrange for a donation or copying of materials that will go into our files.

Friday Roundup: Midway Through May

In celebration of National Preservation Month, we are making some of our past activity sheets available digitally. Click this thumbnail for a full sized file. If you create a masterpiece from the Hottle House in Winchester, let us know. We’d love to see your work!

As we reach the midpoint of May, PHW is still in a holding pattern to see how we may be able to conduct the Annual Meeting in June (originally planned for June 14). We plan to make a decision on how to conduct the meeting by the end of the month. Stay tuned for details!

One thing we did learn is that our bylaws do not allow for organization business to be conducted by means other than face to face meetings. To ease some of this uncertainty in the future, a bylaws edit is being discussed by the board of directors. It has been ten years since the last edit, so a few other changes and clarifications have also been proposed. As with the last time the bylaws were updated, digital and print versions showing the changes will be provided to the membership prior to the meeting if a bylaws change is to be considered.

Along with the Annual Meeting, we traditionally hold our preservation awards in June. If you have a person or project to nominate for a 2020 award, use our form. The awards are not a necessary part of the Annual Meeting, but it is always good to recognize preservation success stories and outstanding leadership that has happened in our community.

Although the state may be slowly reopening, PHW recognizes most of our members and clients likely fall into some of the high risk categories. We ask that you continue to contact us by email for most questions, as we can fulfill most of your needs for information through that method without requiring face to face interaction. If you would like to pick up a copy of the Limestone book or do other interactions that must be done in person, please email phwinc.org@gmail.com or leave a message at 540-667-3577, as we will continue to be open by appointment only. This state of operation will continue until ShenArts, our upstairs neighbor in the Hexagon House, is also ready to reopen their office on the second floor.

To end on a happier note, we are in the works planning for our Bough and Dough Shop. While we may not know exactly what our operation guidelines will be, we are currently working to create a curbside pickup ordering process for at least some of the goods we typically sell. That also means we are accepting applications for new artists. If you or someone you know creates unique items you’d want to see in our shop, download the informational packet and see if we’re a good fit!

Celebrate National Preservation Month in May

As hard as it is to believe, May is almost upon us. The month is special to preservationists, as we take time to celebrate National Preservation Month. If this is the first you’ve heard of it, last year the National Trust for Historic Preservation wrote a brief history of the event, which started as a week-long celebration in 1972 and has since expanded into a full month. Many organizations, like PHW, time their awards and recognition of endangered and preserved properties to coincide with the national event.

While it may be harder to get out and enjoy the fruits of historic preservation this year, you can explore the 31 ways the National Trust invited anyone to celebrate last year. Many are still doable, even with social distancing. If you take the list as a challenge, let us know about your adventures on our Facebook page!

Although it may be late notice, if you have wanted a Winchester historic building plaque, May is traditionally the time those applications are reviewed by the Board of Architectural Review. You can find the guidelines and form online at the City’s website. If you need some help locating history on your building, feel free to contact the PHW office at phwinc.org@gmail.com and we can email copies of digital material to you for your application (or just for your records).

If you have been out and about walking during quarantine, you might have the perfect eyes on the street to nominate projects for a 2020 PHW preservation award. You can find the form online at the PHW website. You can find the list of past people and projects that received recognition on our award page. If you can think of a person or project worthy of recognition this year, let us know as many details as you can and the PHW committee will do the rest!

The Preservation Month Happy Hour Is Tonight!

Celebrate Preservation Month with Preservation of Historic Winchester tonight!

We have been so pleased with the interest shown in our happy hour event tonight, 5 PM at 522 S. Loudoun St. Just a couple notes as you get ready:

Parking is always tricky on Loudoun Street. We ask you respect private driveways as you arrive tonight. Be alert for pedestrians walking in the area from the adjoining streets.

There will be a PHW banner on the porch of 522 S. Loudoun by 5 PM so you can find the house more easily.

We will have mainly wine, craft beer, and light snacks – it will probably not be enough to replace your dinner!

If the weather cooperates (fingers crossed!), we may be able to utilize the rear yard as well for socializing.

It is perfectly fine to just stop in for a couple minutes and say hi or check on your dues. You do not have to arrive at exactly 5 PM. We will not have a program of activities so you will not miss any announcements.

We will, however, have nametags so you can put a face to a name of our current and potential new board members and volunteers. Several of our Holiday House Tour homeowners also plan to stop in tonight, so you can get an early glimpse of how our Holiday House Tour Through History is shaping up.

We will also have a few dates for you to save, upcoming events to mark on your calendars, and some of the new 275 Years of History and Architecture tour brochures for you to pick up (they are a fabulous update thanks to the work of Tim Youmans, Jennifer Bell, Renee Bayliss, and Sandra Bosley – check it out even if you have an older version!)

The PHW office will be closing up by about 3:30 so we can get set up for the event. We’ll see you all tonight!

Happy Bloom!

It’s a short post this week as we know you are all focused on Apple Blossom this weekend. If you get a few quiet minutes, we have a little bit of reading for you to enjoy:

May is Preservation Month! The National Trust has a suggestion of 31 activities to celebrate and enjoy historic places near you. They also have a discussion post going on the forum for other activities from across the country. You can celebrate with PHW next Friday, May 10, at 522 S. Loudoun Street, starting at 5 PM for our free Happy Hour.

One of the things the national preservation movement is moving toward is a focus on supporting community, not just properties of significance. It’s a monumental ideal, and if you’d like a glimpse at some of the thoughts preservation professionals are having for our “future significant” buildings, stories, and communities, there was a good discussion post at the end of April you may want to check out.

You’ve probably been doing some spring cleaning to get ready for the Bloom. Preservation Virginia has a few tips for cleaning some historic items. We will reiterate that if you are at all unsure or you feel the item is too delicate, the best course of action is NOT to attempt cleaning. You can make things much worse by being too aggressive or using the wrong materials.

We also want to thank all our “spring cleaners” who have dropped off bags and packing materials at the Hexagon House. It is a small thing, but we are so grateful for your help. Your donations help us keep our Bough & Dough Shop overhead costs to a minimum by not purchasing new bags and bubble wrap. We also share with our upstairs neighbor ShenArts so they can safely transport pieces between the gallery and the Hexagon House. We will still gladly take more bags and bubble wrap through the spring and summer.

Friday Roundup: Preparing for Preservation Month

May is almost here! To start the event off right, you may want to visit the Garden Tour this weekend – there are a number of fabulous homes in Winchester on the tour this year. You can learn more and buy tickets online here.

As anyone familiar with Winchester knows, the first weekend in May is part of the Apple Blossom Festival, so the PHW Office will be closed Friday, May 3. Enjoy a safe and happy Bloom!

Then on the next Friday, May 10, PHW will be hosting our Preservation Month celebration at 522 S. Loudoun Street. The event begins at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. If you have interest in our historic buildings in Winchester and want to get more involved ,we encourage you to come out and meet us. We’ll also be able to renew or take new memberships at the event. It seems like the event is generating a lot of interest, so we are looking forward to meeting and talking to all of you!

Additionally, PHW is still soliciting ideas for preservation awards for people and projects in Winchester and Frederick County. If you have some ideas, you can find our nomination form online here. Make sure to get it in by May 31 for the best chance to be considered for recognition!

If you own a property in Winchester’s Historic District and you’ve always wanted one of the oval historic building plaques but never knew how to get one, we encourage you to apply for recognition at the Board of Architectural Review. Plaques are acted upon in May as part of the Preservation Month activities. You can find information on the plaque process and costs at the City’s website under the heading “Is your property located in a Historic District?”.

While not exactly preservation-related, you may also want to mark May 17 on your calendars. City Code Officials will be hosting a free cookout in honor of National Building Safety Month at the Old Frederick County Courthouse on the Loudoun Street Mall between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Officials will be available to answer questions and provide information on decks, pools, fences, smoke detectors, permits and more. Be sure to stop by!