Show Your Support for PHW!

While we work on one of the major membership renewal batches for our snail-mail list in the coming week, we also wanted to reach out to our social media and email followers. We appreciate your support and interest in PHW as evidenced by you reading this post, but what you may not know we are also an organization with membership dues.

A substantial portion of our ability to provide research and images for free to the community is derived from our membership dues. Individual support from people like you who read, react, and share our posts and links helps us keep the lights on and the research flowing. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in Winchester’s history and architecture.

Please help us keep sharing our love of Winchester’s architecture and history in 2021 by taking the next step and becoming a member. Individual memberships start at $30 and are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

If that amount is a bit more than you feel comfortable spending, however, we invite you to make a one-time (or recurring) donation to PHW in the amount of your choice. You can also support us passively if you shop at smile.amazon.com and make PHW your charity of choice – there’s no additional cost to you, and a percentage of the purchase price is sent to us automatically.

We would be grateful for your generosity, whether it be through becoming a member, making a tax-deductible gift to PHW, making an earmarked donation to the scholarship fund, contributing in-kind donations, or by adding your name and interests to our volunteer database. All kinds of support are welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance for supporting PHW and Winchester’s architectural heritage!

Friday Roundup: Historical Articles, Applications, and Archived Video

We enjoyed the article “Thanks to the Internet Archive, the history of American newspapers is more searchable than ever” from Nieman Journalism Lab. While we don’t quite have anything of such importance or national relevancy in the PHW archives, we do enjoy searching the newspapers that are becoming more available for researchers. Two articles that stood out this week are a description of building a house that rotates to catch sunlight all day long, as well as a small slice of life on Christmas dinners on Braddock Street long ago. We have also had fire stations on the mind this week, so to nod to the ongoing adaptive reuse taking place at the Sarah Zane Fire Company building, here is a short note on the old engine donated to the fire company by the aforementioned Sarah Zane.

The National Fund for Sacred Places provides training, planning grants, technical assistance, capacity-building support, and capital grants up to $250,000 to congregations of all faiths for rehabilitation work on their historic facilities. Submit your letter of intent by March 15 to keep these places as an important part of our national cultural heritage. You can also register for an introductory webinar for the 2021 grant cycle on February 10th at 2 pm ET.

Applications are due February 23 for the Spring 2021 Fellowship ARCUS Leadership Program. This leadership development program is for anyone who identifies as an emerging leader in the cultural heritage, public history, and historic preservation movement. The Spring 2021 Fellowship workshops will focus on Developing an Inclusive and Antiracist Approach to Cultural Heritage Leadership. Learn more and apply at ARCUS Leadership Program: Fellowship Spring 2021 Application. Not interested in a fellowship? Individual courses are also available at arcusleaders.com.

Last, from the PHW archives, check out our Lunch and Learn lecture with Chuck Swartz on How to Green Your Historic Preservation Project.

Friday Roundup: Nominations, Grants, and More

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list. The list features buildings, cultural landscapes, cemeteries and archaeological sites that face imminent or sustained threats to their integrity or survival. Nominations are due by February 26th and can be submitted online at preservationvirginia.org. The announcement of the 2021 Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places list will take place May 11, 2021.

The National Park Service’s Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) works towards diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. URC grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and are administered by the NPS. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites. Applications are due March 31, 2021. Apply via Grants.gov.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the Bough and Dough Shop survey for planning our 2021 event so far. The feedback survey will be used to adjust the event for the next year in regards to timing, location, and the types of artisan vendors you would most like to see. There is still time to voice your opinion before February 8. Find the survey online at SurveyMonkey.

PHW has been following the discussion on the Conditional Use Permit for the conversion of the Selma property to a bed and breakfast with an event center. As many others have noted, the bed and breakfast aspect raises no concerns for PHW and is to be lauded for finding a new use for the property without damaging its historic character. As a neighboring business, we are in favor of a review period and slightly restricted event capacity to see what noise and congestion may arise from the proposed outdoor events. If you have not, you may also want to review the agenda material for the request at the City of Winchester site.

We often find interesting tidbits while we are correcting text in the Virginia Chronicle. A short article on Fine Woodwork stood out for the mention of fine artistry, as well as the use of sycamore wood, in the RMS Queen Elizabeth. The ship itself has been lost, but happily, a promotional photograph of the “Canterbury Pilgrims” does exist. You can see what this panel looks like at Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History.

Friday Roundup: Preservation Deadlines and Events

Via the National Trust and Preservation Virginia, there are a number of dates to remember coming up:

Preservation Virginia’s 2021 Legislative Reception event is going virtual and features several guest speakers discussing the positive impacts of programs like historic tax credits and upcoming legislation in the Virginia General Assembly. Tune in Thursday, January 28th, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.  The event is free but registration is required

Do you know of an endangered historic property? America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places raises awareness about the threats facing some of our nation’s greatest treasures. The list, which has identified more than 300 sites to date, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts that less than five percent of these sites have been lost. You are strongly encouraged to contact National Trust staff via email to discuss your site prior to applying. Submissions for the 2021 list are due by Monday, February 1.

Putting Together the Pieces: How Small Ceramic Fragments Reveal Much about the Life of the Enslaved at Belle Grove  will be held on Zoom Tuesday, Feb. 9 at noon. Join Matthew Greer, the archaeologist who has been investigating the Belle Grove enslaved quarter site since 2015, to learn what he has uncovered. This free program will be conducted by Zoom, click here to register. If you wish to donate to help support similar programs at Belle Grove, please click here.

Rosenwald Schools in Virginia: Updates and Preservation Tools will be held on February 18 at 10 AM. In 2019, with the help of alumni, local historians, the Department of Historic Resources and the National Park Service, Preservation Virginia completed a comprehensive survey of nearly 400 sites related to Rosenwald Schools in Virginia. Join Preservation Virginia for updates on activities, initiatives and threats related to historic African American schools, as well as information on grants and other funding sources. This event is free but registration is required. 

Friday Roundup: Virtual Conferences and Learning

The 63rd annual Germanna Foundation conference is moving online this year. Six presentations will be hosted on Zoom today, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. Registration is $30. If you can’t attend the live sessions, registration will let you watch the sessions at your convenience. Find the full panel descriptions and register at https://germanna.org/conference-and-reunion/ .

Preservation on Main Street is also going virtual in 2020. The event will be held July 29 through July 31 and will feature many educational and interactive panels and activities for board members, executive directors, or anyone interested in sustaining and revitalizing historic main streets across America. Cost for the full event is $25, or free for students with a student ID. Find the full schedule and more information at https://www.preservationonmainstreet.com/ . Registration closes July 28 at noon.

As part of the lead up to the National Trust’s conference, they have posted a Reading List for Change. Like other organizations, this year the PastForward conference (held in the late fall) will be virtual. Find out more about the 2020 conference at their website. At the bottom of the page, you can also find links to past conference recordings to watch on YouTube.

Last, if you have some children in need of fun activities this weekend, the National Building Museum offers online resources for families to explore architecture, design, and engineering. Go to the At-Home Learning tab for coloring sheets, seek and find activities, and building paper models.

Friday Roundup: Links to Preservation Reading

As is usual following the Annual Meeting and the Fourth of July, we have been in “cleanup mode” at the PHW office, tidying up loose ends from the first half of the year and preparing for the next six months. With not much else to report in office happenings, we thought you may enjoy this selection of links to historic preservation articles this weekend.

Volunteers clean up historic alley in City with ties to the Underground Railroad – The alley, located where Canal and Caroline streets meet at the northern end of the Fredericksburg’s Historic District, may have led to a site where slaves crossed the river to their freedom at Union Army encampments in Stafford County. The cleanup may be the first step in bringing the story of this alley and the free black family that once lived here wider attention.

Should architecturally significant low-income housing be preserved? – One of the pitfalls of much modern construction, no matter how architecturally intriguing, is that it is prone to failures in both the mundane engineering and materials as well as the humanistic interactions people have with the building. The article goes in-depth in the case of the Shoreline Apartments in Buffalo, NY.

Mysteries, skeletons abound under Virginia church’s floor – Graves are everywhere underneath St. Mary’s Basilica in Norfolk, VA. The voids were found by ground penetrating radar, confirming the oral traditions that the church was built over a graveyard. Although the find has delayed the needed renovations to the church, the congregation is pleased to turn their church into a small archeological dig site to better understand their history.

A lot is going on inside the historic preservation community, but you may have missed the discussions. The National Trust for Historic Preservation released their Statement on Confederate Monuments and highlighted a blogger working on Building the Mental Resilience of Preservation Professionals. On the Forum Connect, they also compiled Preservation, Social Justice, and Inclusion (Resources and More).

Schools remain a hot topic for the pandemic and the preservation world. University Business posted How to bring historic buildings new life and purpose for college buildings. Old Sterling Schoolhouse still Standing Today focuses on a center not just of education, but community, in Loudoun County. The school is hoping to be incorporated into a larger development plan; contact information is available at the end of the article if you can help. In more encouraging news, Plans for Old Mount Vernon High School detail hopes to turn the school into a multi-generational learning, housing, and playing uses.

Last, The Most Beautiful Mansions in Every State and From UFO Towers to Tsunami Clocks, Every U.S. State’s Most Unique Roadside Attraction can provide you a bit of armchair tourism this weekend. Stay safe and healthy until we see you next post!

Welcome to July!

PHW held its annual meeting last weekend and we are happy to report the event went off without issue. We had a number of views on the Facebook livestream, but if you want to get right to the meat of the abbreviated meeting, a copy is also available for review on YouTube.

As you may have heard, the City of Winchester is seeking your input on the potential renaming of Jubal Early Drive. Get your thoughts in by July 13! More background information and the survey can be found at http://www.winchesterva.gov/jubal-early-drive-renaming

Although it sounds hard to believe, we are indeed following the promise made at the Annual Meeting and we are in the early stages of transforming the interior of the Hexagon House to be shop-friendly. You can follow along on our Bough and Dough Shop progress this summer and fall at our dedicated Instagram account. The early start is in part due to making sure the new table layouts will work with the need for one-way traffic inside the building this year. (It also helps us judge how many artists we can accommodate.) If you have not completed your application for this year, apply soon!

As you celebrate the holiday this weekend, you may want to brush up on some safety tips. The Red Cross has 20 tips for you this year with specific tips for the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an article from Prevention.com on the rise of fireworks this year and how to stay safe while enjoying them. Have a happy Fourth of July from everyone at PHW!

Friday Roundup: RSVPs and Reading Links

PHW’s 56th Annual Meeting will be held on June 28th. The meeting will be held at the Hexagon House, 530 Amherst Street, beginning at 5:00 P.M. The Annual Business Meeting will consist of the Proposed Bylaws Amendment, President’s Annual Report, and Election of the 2020-2021 Board of Directors.

A full copy of the bylaws is available on PHW’s website.

Only PHW members with current dues who attend the meeting in person may vote on the actionable items. If you plan to attend the meeting, RSVP your name and number of attendees to 540-667-3577, phwinc.org@gmail.com, or on the Facebook event page. The meeting is capped at 50 guests.

The meeting will be held outside and no refreshments will be offered. Social distancing due to COVID-19 will be in effect. Wear face coverings and do not attend if you have been exposed or feel ill. Please bring your own seating. A livestream of the meeting will be hosted on Facebook. The link will be made available approximately one week before the event. The meeting will not be rescheduled for inclement weather.

For further reading and researching this week, we have a selection of links:

It seems many people are taking the pandemic time to research their homes and towns. Atlas Obscura has been providing a steady stream of informative articles on how to get started, including How to Dig into the History of Your City, Town, or Neighborhood.

If you are looking for early Winchester Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to help with your research, you can find them at the Library of Congress. You can also look at other maps PHW and other local researchers use to date local buildings at Historic Map Works.

Do you like transcribing old documents or going on deep history searches? East End and Evergreen Cemeteries in Richmond are accepting remote volunteers to help make their documents more accessible and preserve Richmond’s African American history. Follow the links to register for Biography Writer, Cemetery Research, or Record Transcription.

If you are interested in similar efforts to document, preserve, and tell forgotten stories, you may also enjoy Architectural History Fieldwork Project Seeks to Find ‘Suppressed and Erased Histories’ and When Architecture and Racial Justice Intersect.

AmazonSmile customers can now support Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc. in the Amazon shopping app on iOS and Android mobile phones! Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations.

  1. Open the Amazon Shopping app on your device
  2. Go into the main menu of the Amazon Shopping app and tap into ‘Settings’
  3. Tap ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process

If you do not have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app, update your app. Click here for instructions.

Friday Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

The PHW office will be closed Memorial Day. Stay safe and healthy as you enjoy your long weekend! For your reading pleasure, we have gathered links for you to enjoy:

Protecting Family and Heirlooms – If you started organizing photographs or sorting through other family memorabilia and are concerned on how to safely handle or sanitize them, this blog from the Library of Virginia may put some fears at ease and help keep your precious documents safe.

More Than Maintenance: Replacing the Glass at the Glass House – The National Trust offers a peek behind the curtain for a unique window replacement situation at the Phillip Johnson Glass House in Connecticut. This is an interesting look at how defining architectural features that wear out are replaced sensitively in respect to the building, its furnishings, and its function as an interpretive site for most of the year.

Atlas Obscura offers two articles, Fun Ways to Get Kids Into Photography and Dig This: An Online Field School for Junior Archaeologists to whet your children or grandchildren’s appetite for skills useful in historic preservation.

You may also want to check out Use Online Time with Family to Record Family Stories from West Virginia Public Radio. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for additional links to help you get started with question suggestions.

One of the things I have enjoyed is looking through some long forgotten boxes and finding treasures inside. If you like that thrill as well, you might enjoy the story On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive Detective following the discovery of missing items and the effort to recover them with Mitch Yockelson. (Sometimes, though, the items are just misfiled!)

If you’re looking for a longer read, Public Domain Review recently highlighted a book Old English Customs Extant at the Present Time (1896). In addition to the highlighted summary of what to expect from the Review, you can enjoy the entire book for free online and see what other traditions you may not have heard of before.

Clowser House Painting
Larry Webb shared ten more photos of the exterior painting progress at the Clowser House. You can drive by to see the exterior yourself at 152 Tomahawk Trail in the Shawneeland subdivision off Back Mountain Road in Frederick County. You can see the other photos at our Flickr.

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!