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DHR Register Program Updates

April, 2021
In this issue:
*Results for the March DHR quarterly meeting
*Register-Listed Sites in the News *News Around Virginia *Grant & Training Opportunities
Recent news from around Virginia including the results of DHR's recent quarterly board meeting in March.
--Lena McDonald, Historian, DHR Register Program.

*Consultants, CLG staff, university faculty, students, and anyone interested in Virginia's landmark register programs and history. (Please share this newsletter with others!)

March 2021 Quarterly Joint Board Meeting

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board convened in an online joint meeting on March 18, 2021. The following nominations were approved at the meeting.

Eastern Region
Northern Region
Western Region
Draft PIFs Agenda for the March 2021 020 Joint Board Meeting
The Virginia State Review Board convened in an online meeting on March 18, 2021. The following PIFs currently were approved at the meeting.

Western Region
Northern Region
Eastern Region

Register Program Updates

Underrepresented Communities and the Register Program
NPS image for National Register
Awareness of the need to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in all manner of American institutions has proliferated in recent years, including in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The full range of historic properties that are associated with underrepresented communities across the Commonwealth warrant recognition by the Registers. Additionally, nominations for properties that were listed during the Register program’s first several decades (1966-2000) often overlooked important associations with and contributions of underrepresented groups.
Perhaps the most glaring examples are colonial era, early republic, and antebellum properties, such as Virginia’s many plantations, in which nominations make only passing reference to the crucial contributions of enslaved and free Africans and African Americans to the viability and success of Virginia, first as an English colony and then as part of the United States. The millennia of continuous occupation by Virginia Indian tribes of the land we call Virginia also is poorly represented in Register listing.

DHR is aware of these shortcomings and know that much remains to be done, despite that our staff has worked for the past two decades to improve diversity and inclusion in our activities. A widely cited statistic (of which I am unaware of the original source) is that just one percent of National Register listings concern properties associated with Black history. I do not know how accurate this statistic is for the National Register as a whole. However, in Virginia, approximately 10 percent of total Register nominations discuss the contributions of African Americans in a substantive way. See a compilation of these nominations. Yet when it comes to other underrepresented communities, such as Virginia Indians, religious and ethnic minorities, the 19th-century immigrants who built railroads and canals, itinerant workers of the early 20th century, and more recent (post-World War II) immigrant communities, we are keenly aware that Virginia’s current catalog of Register listings is terribly inadequate and that documentation of African American places remains uneven.

To continue remedying these shortfalls, DHR staff encourage property owners, local historians, and community members to research and write nominations and will provide technical and substantive assistance to assure successful nominations. DHR manages three grant programs, Threatened Sites, Cost Share, and CLG (Certified Local Government) that are available to provide funds for preparation of nominations. Improving diversity and inclusion are priorities for each program. The General Assembly appropriates funding for Threatened Sites and Cost Share, and the federal government through the Historic Preservation Fund supports CLG grants. DHR passes 100 percent of these grant funds to applicants through a competitive process.

In recent years, the assortment of federal grants that are available has increased after many years of minimal or nonexistent funding. DHR has assisted property owners, local governments, and other interested groups with preparing applications to federal grant programs managed by the National Park Service. These include the Underrepresented Communities, African American Civil Rights, ESHPF Disaster Relief Assistance, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization (for rural areas) grant programs. Tribal Heritage Grants now are available as well to Virginia’s seven federally-recognized tribes. The National Trust for Historic Preservation also has stepped up to offer grants for preservation of Rosenwald Schools and in 2017 launched the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, for which DHR staff also have assisted with preparing applications..

For more information about the various grant programs, please visit this page of DHR’s website, and the National Park Service’s State, Tribal, and Local Plans and Grants Division website.

Although there is plenty of room for criticism of the historic Registers and past approaches to underrepresented communities, today DHR emphasizes that the Virginia Landmarks Register and National Register are accessible to everyone. We are eager to continue our efforts to improve, maybe even erase!, the underrepresentation of diverse communities in Virginia’s Register listings. Community involvement and support are greatly needed as we seek creative ways to expand our efforts. If you have an idea for nominating a historic place associated with an underrepresented community, please contact National/State Register Historian Lena McDonald.

Register-Listed Properties in the News

Goose Creek vid
Goose Creek Wins Grand Prize at 2021 Virginia Environmental Film Festival

Goose Creek, a documentary film depicting the benefits, challenges, and natural resilience of the 54-mile long aquatic artery of northern Fauquier and western Loudoun counties, has won the Grand Prize in the 2021 Virginia Environmental Film Festival. The short film recounts the peoples who have been associated with Goose Creek across centuries and threats such as development and pollution that have threatened the water quality and wildlife. The stream passes through the southern portion of the Goose Creek Rural Historic District, an area with a rich collection of 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century rural vernacular architecture, much of it incorporating the superb stone masonry attributed to Quaker settlers.
Mary Jane Dogan House NPS
Rehabilitation Project at Manassas National Battlefield

Historicorps has partnered with the National Park Service to continue work on rehabilitation of the Mary Jane Dogan House, a two-story, frame, antebellum dwelling that is one of only two surviving buildings in the 19th-century village of Groveton. The dwelling is within the bounds of the Manassas National Battlefield Park. Work will take place in three sessions between March 28 and April 16 and will focus on stabilizing the building and restoring the foundation

News from Around Virginia

Architectural Survey Report of Reston Now Available
cover Reston report w border
In 2019, Fairfax County received a grant award for hiring a consultant to conduct architectural survey in Reston, an innovative planned community first developed in 1964 that features an assortment of Modern architecture, including single-family dwellings, apartment complexes and condominiums, office buildings and corporate parks, and public buildings. The grant supporting the County’s contribution to the project came from DHR’s Cost Share Survey and Planning Program, established in 1991 to provide matching grants and administrative support to local governments for historic preservation projects. The scope of the Reston project included reconnaissance-level survey on 51 individual properties and eight potential historic districts. Read and download the complete report.
University of Virginia Enters Partnership to Establish New Field Schools
Andrew Mellon Foundation logo
UVA logo
vaf logo
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has generously awarded funding to the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF) and the University of Virginia to sponsor and support summer field schools that will focus on African American places and engage Black communities, scholars, and students. VAF President Claire Dempsey formed a committee to work with UVa’s principal investigator Louis Nelson to develop the format and goals of the program. The committee currently includes Carl Lounsbury, Kim Hoagland, Niya Bates, and Jim Buckley in addition to Dempsey and Nelson, with additional members to be announced. The group hopes to complete the initial application materials for distribution on the VAF website this Spring and select the first field school site in Fall 2021 in time for an initial fieldwork session in Summer 2022.
The project currently is slated to work with three different field school teams at three different African American historical sites over the summers of 2022–2025. Each site will run two 3- or 4-week sessions spread over two summers, and the teams will work with VAF and UVa as sponsors to select a diverse cohort of field school participants from national and local sources. Field school students will not need to have previous experience in vernacular fieldwork, as participants will be trained in a variety of recording techniques, including traditional hand measuring, high tech imaging, and ethnographic methods. For more information about this program, contact Louis Nelson.

News from Elsewhere

Economic Stimulus Package includes Historic Sites, Museums, and Other Cultural Venues
American Alliance of Museums logo
The American Alliance of Museums has summarized the American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319; Summaries and Resources here), which was recently signed into law by President Biden. The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation includes several provisions important to museums, historic sites, and other cultural venues:
  • Provides an additional $1.25 Billion for Shuttered Venue Operator (SVO) grants for a total of $16.25 billion (see below for information about the application process). Note that the eligibility requirement for “fixed seating” has been retained, which limits the types of places that can benefit from this program.
  • Allows nonprofits to apply for both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and SVO (which is expected to open in the next several weeks), but the SVO grant would need to be reduced by the PPP amount received.
  • Contains an additional $7.25 billion for PPP loans. The PPP application deadline is still set at March 31. Nonprofit organizations, business groups, and accounting professionals continue to press for extending the sunset for several more months to give employers more time to apply.
  • Expands PPP eligibility to nonprofits with more than 500 employees that operate at multiple locations, as long as no more than 500 employees work at any one location.
  • Increases reimbursement for unemployment insurance for nonprofits who self-insure from 50% to 75% through September 6, 2021. Museum advocates continue to lobby for 100% reimbursement through 2021 and for retroactivity to March 2020. Roughly 30 percent of museums indicated they self-insure for unemployment insurance.
  • Provides $350 billion in aid to state and local governments, while limiting the use of funds to several different eligible categories. Of interest to museums, funding may be used “to respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.” Museums are encouraged to contact state and local leaders to make them aware of this provision and opportunity for funding.
  • Provides $30.35 billion for afterschool and summer learning programs. Funds will go to state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs). Learning recovery, afterschool programs, summer enrichment, and expanded learning programs are allowable uses. Museums and cultural sites are among the places that can offer such programs.
  • Provides $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and $135 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for COVID-19 relief grants.
  • Provides $200 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support states’ efforts to expand digital network access. Of this amount, 54 million will go through state humanities councils. IMLS will also offer grants to museums, libraries, and Native American and Native Hawaiian communities, so that they may to continue to respond to the COVID-19 health emergency.
Shuttered Venue Operator (SVO) Recovery Program for Museums and Nonprofits
On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal in preparation for opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021. You can find Frequently Asked Questions about SVOG, a preliminary application checklist, and other information on the SBA's SVOG site.

Last week the House passed legislation (H.R. 1799), advocated for by the Alliance, extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline to May 31 (from March 31). The Senate is expected to pass the extension this week with President Biden expected to sign it into law shortly thereafter. Nonprofits, including eligible museums, may apply for the PPP prior to applying for an SVO as they await the application. The SBA would then reduce any SVO grant award by the PPP amount received.
Historic Preservation Fund Annual Report Now Available
The National Park Service (NPS) recently issued its annual report for the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). NPS manages the fund on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, and uses annually appropriated funds to provide grants to State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPO) to assist in their efforts to protect and preserve their historic resources.
Each State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), appointed by the Governor for each state, manages this annual appropriation to perform the Federal preservation responsibilities required by the National Historic Preservation Act. Preservation activities may be carried out directly by States, who are required to provide a 40 percent match to their HPF funds. HPF grants to THPOs, which do not require a match, help federally-recognized tribes to undertake preservation activities and assume SHPO responsibilities on Tribal land if desired.

Competitive grants from the Historic Preservation Fund can be apportioned by Congress for specific grant programs. These programs address different types of preservation needs across the country and fund a variety of work including: physical preservation work, surveys and inventories, National Register nominations, education, documentation, and preservation planning. In 2020, a total of $52.25 million was directed to the African American Civil Rights, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, History of Equal Rights, Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization (for rural areas) Subgrant, Save America’s Treasures, Tribal Heritage Grants, and Underrepresented Communities programs.

Grant Opportunities

NPS Tribal Grants
Tribal Heritage Grant Applications

Applications for the NPS Tribal Heritage Grant program are now being accepted through the federal government’s Grants.gov portal. The deadline to apply is May 5, 2021. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes grants to federally-recognized tribes for cultural and historic preservation projects. Additional information about the Tribal Heritage Grant.
Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization (for rural areas) Grant Applications

Applications for the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant are now being accepted through the federal government’s Grants.gov portal. The goal of the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program is to fund subgrant programs that support the rehabilitation of historic properties to foster economic development of rural communities. These subgrant programs, managed by States, Tribes, Certified Local Governments, and non-profits, will fund preservation projects for historic sites to include architectural/engineering services and physical preservation. Applications are due May 12, 2021. Additional information.

Training Opportunities

Finding New Sources of Funding in Challenging Times

The National Preservation Institute has made available a free, on-demand, online training module about identifying and maximizing new funding streams. Participants in this webinar will learn how to evaluate a cultural resource project for its value in serving broader community needs, to review traditional funding types vs. alternative sources that can be redirected to meet project goals, and to consider new partnerships that can expand the universe of support.
Alliance of Shen Valley logo
Family Land, Farming and Race in Virginia Webinar

The Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley recently hosted an online discussion of historic and current trends in farming. Ownership of land represents wealth, potential, community, sustainability, and economic opportunity for the next generation.
Yet, across our country, Black and Indigenous landowners have lost land at rates much higher than have their white counterparts. In 1910, there were 218,000 Black farmers and they owned roughly 15 million acres of land. After the turn of the 21st century, there were only 18,000 Black farmers with a little over 2 million acres of land. This enormous loss of land and opportunity for Black farmers and their descendants was not just a chance happening. Rather it is an important, yet often overlooked, part of our history of racial injustice all across America. This webinar explored the topics of family land, farming, and race. Virginia’s recent efforts to slow the loss of family-owned farmlands and next steps to ensure that Black families and other historically underrepresented groups can continue to farm also are explored. Access the webinar recording.

In related news, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides approximately $5 billion to disadvantage farmers that would provide debt relief as well as grants, training, education and other forms of assistance aimed at acquiring land. Some experts say no legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has had the positive impact that ARPA will have for farmers of color. The framework for this part of the bill drew from the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, introduced by Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) and joined by Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.). This bill in turn drew from the Justice for Black Farmers Act of 2020.
Preservation Virginia
Webinars by Preservation Virginia

Preservation Virginia has created an extensive series of webinars and online videos about different aspects of historic preservation efforts in Virginia, activities at the diverse sites owned by the organization, and online “tours.” Among the most recent webinars is one that focuses on preparing for and responding to natural disasters that affect historic properties. A 45-minute video entitled “Bricks and Bones: Archaeological Discoveries in Bacon’s Castle Hinterlands” focuses on a recent investigation of the Allen family site and results that shed light on the people who lived and worked at Bacon’s Castle over the centuries. The videos can on accessed this PV webpage or through the organization’s YouTube channel. Updates about Preservation Virginia’s community outreach and preservation programs also are available here.
GIS for Cultural Resources: Roundtable Conversation

On May 6, 2021, at 3:00 p.m., the National Preservation Institute (NPI) will host an opportunity for a free-ranging discussion with geographic information system (GIS) users in the cultural resource management field. Participants can review changes in the industry and updates in the ArcGIS platform, pose questions to baffling issues, and contribute a case study or story map. Learn about the latest GIS tools, new data portals, and upcoming technologies with potential connections to GIS, and consider ways to work more effectively with non-GIS users and promote the use of GIS. The registration fee is $100. Additional information.
Virginia War Memorial – Online Offerings

The Virginia War Memorial in Richmond offers an assortment of online talks, interviews, book discussions, and presentations about all aspects of military history. See a list of upcoming events. For the most part, the events are offered at no charge although advance registration is required. The organization’s blog is a great place to stay current with events, exhibitions, and activities at the memorial.
Webinars by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum

The National Trust for Historic Preservation now offers a collection of online, free webinars and videos that cover topics from advocacy for preservation projects to educational discussions of important issues and projects, including the recently launched HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, broadening understanding of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, and engaging in dialogue about renovation of the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.