Quarterly News, April 2019


In this issue:
*New Virginia Landmarks Register Listings* *New Historical Markers *An Urgent Appeal *Betsy Artifacts *Virginia Capital Trail *Lynchburg's Academy of Music, Rehabilitated *Calendar of Events

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Seven Sites Added to the Va. Landmarks Register

Seven sites—in Lee, Mecklenburg, and Rockingham counties, and the cities of Alexandria, Portsmouth, and Richmond—have been approved for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register. Of the sites listed by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources during its spring quarterly meeting on April 17, two arose where flowing waters could power mills—
READ more. . .
Three men crew on a bateau

Eight New State Historical Markers Approved

Topics covered by eight forthcoming historical highway markers include the era of James River bateaumen; two Lee County natives who were expert at code-breaking and encryption during World War II and the Cold War; and a Newport News apprentice training school for the shipbuilding trades. READ more, and text of each approved marker

An Urgent Appeal to Our Subscribers:

The National Park Service (NPS) recently proposed significant changes to the rules governing the nomination process to the National Register of Historic Places. There is also the potential for negative impacts to Section 106 consultation (a requirement of the National Historic Preservation Act). Changes to owner objection requirements could make accessing federal historic tax credits more difficult. Because State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, as well as other federal agencies were not consulted prior to releasing the proposed changes, their concerns about complying with these rules were not considered.

See DHR's concerns about the rule change. Or read more about the proposed rule changes and their potential consequences at the National Trust’s Preservation Leadership Forum blog.
To submit your comments and concerns today, go here:

Please, help maintain a robust program that saves historic places.
Hour glass used on ships.
Spotlight on DHR Collections:
A sandglass, more commonly referred to as an hour glass, was an important tool used in 18th-century sailing, the era of the Betsy, a ship scuttled in the York River by the British at Yorktown in 1781. These timepieces were calibrated for specific increments of time and would have been used for everything from keeping track of work shifts to timing distance measurements. READ more
J. Loux at Four Mile Creek Park (4)
Virginia Capital Trail
During a recent Virginia's United Land Trusts conference in Richmond, DHR's historical highway marker program historian, Dr. Jennifer Loux (right), co-led a tour of the Virginia Capital Trail between Richmond and Jamestown. The popular hike and bike trail parallels much of Virginia Byway Route 5 and the James River. More than 40 highway markers edge it, covering topics in prehistory, and Contact era, colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War history. The trail inspired DHR's inaugural audio marker tour, which you can download or desktop drive here (on izi.Travel website).

A Virginia Rehabilitation Tax Credit Project

The Academy of Music Theatre opened in 1905, giving Lynchburg a venue for traveling stage shows. Although it burned in 1911, a grander theater was rebuilt immediately, reopening in December 1912. It operated as a performing arts theater into the 1920s, when management converted it to a movie theater, a role it served until closing in 1958.

Decades later, the community sought to return it to a performance venue. A rebuilt fly tower marked the start of a comprehensive rehabilitation project -- one that continued for a decade, maintaining public interest. In modifying four adjacent historic buildings into a modern theater, historic characteristics were retained and a new addition constructed (middle photo) with a glass hyphen connector between the theater and addition. The hyphen allowed for retention and incorporation of the historically separate entrance and box office for African Americans, an important aspect of the building’s 20th-century history. Modern codes and environmental health and safety measures proved challenging, but were woven into the structure with minimal impact on the historic building fabric.

Diverse programming possibilities now provide opportunities for live performances, screenings, and business functions. The long-running dedication of the community to rehabilitate the theater, using the rehabilitation tax credit program, reflects the city's sense of pride, and the result will benefit Lynchburg well into the future.

See forthcoming DHR-sponsored workshops and other events.