Friday Roundup

Friday Roundup: Preservation News

Do you follow us on Facebook? While we are in quarantine mode, we have been posting a link a day to small content, articles, and virtual tours that don’t make sense for a full blog post. If you find anything in your own online travels that would be interesting to share, send a link via email to phwinc.org@gmail.com. We will likely feature it in a future post here or on Facebook.

In preservation news around the state, the Jefferson Pools are soon to be rehabilitated, although it will take longer than the initial projections. As stated in the article, “Virginia has a storied history surrounding its hot-spring resorts, which attracted people seeking health and relaxation. Few structures survive, however, and it looked as if Virginia might lose two more, which were said to be at risk of collapse.” Instead the two bathhouses have been painstakingly documented and their appearance will be reverted to circa 1925.

Matthew Meltzer has compiled the most endangered building in every┬ástate. Virginia’s listing is the Carr-Greer Farmhouse in Ivy Creek. If you’re curious to learn more and help save this landmark, visit the Ivy Creek Foundation’s website.

Diana Schwartz penned Monuments to yesteryear: Restoring downtown Danville buildings adds value, money for the entire community. The points she brings up are familiar to anyone working with historic buildings. One section that stood out was: “A great example of this is the story of a developer who long ago flew into Danville to meet with city leaders about a potential economic development project, and along the way decided to drive though the downtown . . . . At that time downtown Danville was mostly desolate, abandoned and in terrible disrepair. He saw broken sidewalks blocked off in sections due to disintegration of some of the building facades. Without hesitation, he turned around and left without even showing up to the meeting. Afterward, when asked why he left, the developer explained that he was not interested in making an investment into a community that did not invest in itself.

The Strong Towns discussion with Ben Stevens: Every Building is a Startup is a helpful reminder not to over-correct in cases like Danville. Towns are more resilient than many people give them credit, and slower, smaller changes do make a difference in revitalizing and honoring the past and future of a place. Winchester was fortunate to head off the sense of desolation and abandonment downtown when it began to occur in the 1970s. While the current crisis may be impacting our historic downtown in ways unexpected and unfamiliar to historic preservationists, we hope you will continue to believe in and invest in our historic buildings and niche businesses and restaurants during and after the pandemic.

If you are involved in an organization in need of funding for a preservation project, you may wish to check out the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program. The goal of the program is to support subgrant programs that enable the rehabilitation of rural historic properties at the national, state, and local level of significance and rehabilitate, protect, and foster economic development of rural communities. States, Tribes, Certified Local Governments, and non-profits are eligible. The deadline for applications is April 21, 2020.