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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Past News and Annoucements

See below for Archive of Press Releases.

Historic Surry Disaster Mitigation Plan: Draft plan awaits public comments.
The Historic Surry Disaster Mitigation Plan provides the Town of Surry and its residents guidelines on preparing for, and recovering from a natural or man-made disaster, specifically with regards to the treatment of historic properties. The attractive, 30-page plan, created in 2016 and now available for public comment, is the result of a grant administered by DHR from the the NPS's Historic Preservation Fund–Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Assistance Grant.

FYI, see these helpful checklists (from the full plan) for preparation and recovery from disasters.  

Questions or comments? Please contact Blake McDonald at DHR.

Turner Ashby Monument, Harrisonburg
Report of Governor McAuliffe�s Monuments Work Group (2016):Recommendations for Community Engagement Regarding Confederate Monuments": Governor McAuliffe is committed to preserving both Virginia's historic resources and the local autonomy necessary for the legitimate discussions currently occurring throughout the Commonwealth. Recognizing her experience as a former Mayor and her leadership in Virginia's historic preservation efforts, the governor directed Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward to convene a diverse work group to consider the issues that arose in the debate last spring over HB 587, a General Assembly bill that would have overridden the authority of city governments to remove or alter war memorials erected before 1998. The group was asked to pull together resources and best practices to help willing localities foster a constructive dialogue about their monuments. This report is the product of that effort. 
Powhatan in his longhouse at Werowocomoco.
 Panelists discussed Werowocomoco during a Virginia Historical Society Banner Lecture in February 2016. The discussion focuses on the archaeology, prehistory and history of Werowocomco and the site's significance to Virginia Indians today. Werowocomoco, an American Indian village, is where chief Powhatan, his daughter Pocahontas, and Capt. John Smith first crossed paths when Smith was brought there as a prisoner. The village emerged at least 400 years before the English settled at Jamestown. To learn more about this internationally significant site, watch this video of the Banner Lecture presentation, avialble on the VHRS website. The February event was co-sponsored by DHR with VHS.

Now Available: Classic Commonwealth: Virginia Architecture from the Colonial Era to 1940: DHR is pleased to present this new online publication designed to aid professionals, students, and readers of all walks in identifying and documenting the numerous types and styles of historic buildings in the Commonwealth. The guide opens with an overview of Virginia's architectural heritage within the context of larger historic trends, from its colonial-era settlement through to the economic, technological and cultural innovations of the early 20th century.
   The majority of the publication consists of "Style and Form" information sheets offering basic information about and character-defining features of the many historic architectural styles that have shaped Virginia's public and private spaces across more than three centuries. Because architecture is a visual medium, Classic Commonwealth relies heavily on photographs which exemplify or illustrate relevant styles. We hope that the Classic Commonwealth style guide will enrich your understanding and appreciation of Virginia's historic architecture. Additionally, this guide complements the New Dominion Virginia Style Guide, which DHR issued in 2014 and covers the 1940s through the late 20th century.

Updated: How to Research Your Historic Property: Owners of old Virginia houses, commercial buildings, mills, and farmsteads, as well as historians of churches, schools, and businesses often want to learn more about the history of their property but are not sure how to go about it. DHR recently updated our publication on how to conduct research on a historic property and it is available for downloading as a PDF. The publication introduces you to some of the useful sources available for learning about the history of a Virginia property.

Archive of Press Releases:

2017: 2016: 2015: 2014: 2013: Updated: 3.20.2018