Why Preserve?

Sustaining Communities: Putting Virginia's History to Work

Wonderful things happen when communities take stock of their historic resources and put them to work for public benefit: for Montgomery County, it means reclaiming the heritage of an entire region. For Richmond, it means turning an abandoned building into a state-of-the-art Governor’s School. For Roanoke, it means fueling economic development with a $22 million rehab of the historic Hotel Roanoke. For the Shenandoah Valley, it means creating a major tourism asset from a key theater of conflict in the Civil War. For Tidewater, it means teaching adults and children about their local heritage from the most recent archaeological findings.

Virginia communities are using preservation approaches to build civic pride, revitalize downtowns, spur economic development, generate tourism, and educate residents and children about their local heritage. Communities do this in part by taking stock of the historic resources they have, identifying the most significant among them, adding them as integral elements in long-term planning, rehabilitating them using tax credits, and interpreting them for education and tourism. Each step calls for many levels of partnership, consensus, and commitment. The result is a community-wide process of input and inclusion that yields a focused vision for the future and a citizenry excited and contributing to that future. Through a broad range of incentives and services, the Department of Historic Resources (DHR) helps communities help themselves. The results are exponential: through partnerships and leveraged resources, communities accomplish thousands of times more than what one state agency could do alone.

At DHR, we are seeing requests for preservation programs and services increasing as citizens understand that we have the opportunity today to create a vital Virginia for tomorrow.

Check out the How to Get Involved  section, you'll find opportunities for communities, homeowners, families, museums, and volunteers to join in the action.