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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is the State Historic Preservation Office.
DHR fosters, encourages, and supports the stewardship and use of Virginia’s significant architectural, archaeological, and historic resources as valuable assets for the economic, educational, social, and cultural benefit of citizens and communities.

Historic Virginia

11 Historic Sites Added to the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR): The commonwealth’s 20th-century history in the areas of suburban planning and growth, African American history and civil rights, and in public education, among other themes, are highlighted in the eleven historic sites added to VLR in December.
  • New VLR listings in counties of Amherst, Appomattox, Fairfax, Hanover, Henrico, and Stafford; and the cities of Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond.
  • Also, updated and expanded boundaries for previously-listed sites in Harrisonburg, Hopewell, and Richmond.
Read this press release (PDF) with photos and descriptions of the properterties and historic districts. See this webpage for individual nomination forms and photographs of each listing.
Four photos of sites listed
Sites added to the VLR in December, clockwise from top right: (1) Lee Medical Building, Richmnod, (2) Gilliam-Irving Farm, Appomattox Co. (3) Bradley Foundry, Harrisonburg; and (4) El Bethel Methodist Church, Amherst Co.

Recent News and Announcements

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Preserving the Past, Bulding the Future: Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits at Work in Virginia: The commonwealth's Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (HRTC) program has played an essential role in the preservation of thousands of historic properties since its inception 20 years ago. The program has issued $1.2 billion in tax credits since 1997, reimbursing 25 percent of eligible rehabilitation expenses as tax credits. Those tax credits have stimulated $4.5 billion in private investment since 1997. Although the $1.2 billion in tax credits issued represents revenue not immediately realized by the Commonwealth, much of the $4.5 billion of private investment may not have otherwise occurred. VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs analyzed the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program to better understand its costs and benefits to Virginia, its communities, and its historic buildings. Here's full 94-page report. No time for that? Read the Executive Summary (4 pgs) or this Illustrated Summary

Also of note, in 2017 Preservation Virginia, in partnership with the Home Builders Association, undertook a deep-dive study into the economic benefits of the historic rehabilitation tax credit program in Virginia. Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly), a nationally recognized, full-service accounting and advisory firm, studied the economic impact of 21 projects completed in 2014. Their findings demonstrate the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program doesn't just preserve the places that make Virginia unique. In 2014 alone it resulted in:
  • $467 million in economic output
  • supported 9,960 jobs
  • generated $3.50 for every $1 invested through the first three years
The study can be found here on the Preservation Virginia website.
Logo of DHR historical marker audio tour
Check out DHR’s new audio tour of the historical highway markers along the Virginia Capital Bike Trail and Route 5 between Richmond and Williamsburg.
This is DHR's first attempt at making audio recordings of the texts of the 2,600+ markers erected in Virginia between 1927 and 2017. We would appreciate any feedback you would like to provide us. Intended to entertain and inform you when you drive Route 5 or bike along the Capital Trail, the audio tour can also be accessed from anywhere on any device including laptops. Take a spin and get a feel for what we are up to by visiting the tour link. To access the tour on a mobile device, visit izi.Travel and download the app, then search for tours in Virginia.
Shows a theater in a historic district.
2018-2019 Cost Share Survey and Planning Program Request for Applications: DHR is now soliciting applications for our Survey and Planning Cost Share Program. Cost Share projects are funded through a partnership between DHR and a local government and/or regional planning district commission (PDC). Eligible projects encompass a broad range of survey and planning activities and protection of historic resources through identification, documentation, evaluation, and preservation planning activities consistent with the responsible stewardship of historic resources. Questions? Contact Blake McDonald at DHR.

The photo shows the Ashland Theatre. It was surveyed during a 2017 Cost Share–supported project that updated the Ashland Historic District in Hanover County. The updated survey resulted in mid-century resources such as the theater being added as contributing buildings to the Ashland Historic District.
Request for Applications.
Highway marker sign outline
12 New State Historical Highway Markers Approved in December: Among a dozen new historical markers approved for Virginia’s roadways will be one about a stock car racer whose career took him from hauling moonshine in the Blue Ridge Mountains to becoming a NASCAR hall of famer; a sign denoting a circa-1800 stone milepost on a road to Lynchburg; two to highlight World War II-era ordnance production in the New River Valley; and signs for two African American churches in Northern Virginia. See this press release, which includes the text of each new marker.

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Now Available: Virginia Indians at Werowocomoco (NPS Handbook): An established Native American settlement as early as 1200 CE, Werowocomoco—located in Gloucester County, along the York River—was a secular and sacred seat of power of the Algonquian people in present-day Virginia, whom the English would call the “Powhatan.” The site was rediscovered in 2003. Only about 1 percent of the 58-acre site has been investigated; however, based on archaeological research conducted so far, it appears to be an unprecedented archaeological find for the eastern coastal region of the nation, and its significance to Virginia Indians today and our shared history is without parallel. Generously illustrated and informed by recent scholarship, this latest addition to the National Park Service Handbook series is an engaging and concise history of the site, its rediscovery, and what recent archaeology tells us about Werowocomoco. Order the book from the University of Virginia Press or online retailers such as Amazon. Priced at $12.95, consisting of 148 pages with more than 100 color images, photographs, and maps, this book is intended for a general reader interested in Native American and Virginia history.

Natural Disaster Recovery Advisory