Display problems? Open this email in your web browser.
DHR's signature banner

DHR Register Program Updates

March, 2021
In this issue:
*Preliminary Agenda for the March DHR quarterly meeting of DHR's boards
*Register-Listed Sites in the News *News Around Virginia *Grant & Training Opportunities
We have updates to the National Register program and other news including the agenda of DHR's forthcoming quarterly board meeting later this month.
--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!)

Draft Agenda for March 2021

Quarterly Joint Board Meeting

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources and State Review Board are scheduled to convene in an online joint meeting on March 18, 2021. The following nominations currently are planned to be presented at the meeting. (See this webpage for information on how to attend the online public meeting.)

Eastern Region
Northern Region
Western Region
Draft PIFs Agenda for the March 2021 020 Joint Board Meeting
The Virginia State Review Board is scheduled to convene in an online meeting on March 18, 2021. The following PIFs currently are planned to be presented at the meeting.

Western Region
Northern Region
Eastern Region

Register Program Updates

NPS image for National Register
Updated NRHP Forms

The National Park Service recently issued updates to the National Register nomination form (aka "the registration form") and the Multiple Property Documentation form. Each form has only minor changes, confined to an expanded Estimated Burden Statement with four tiers at the end of the nomination form. This same text is at the bottom of page two of the Multiple Property Documentation form. Nomination authors are not required to add any information here. The NPS also revised both forms with regard to formatting, line spacing, and fonts.
DHR has uploaded each updated form to our website. Links to download the forms are on this webpage. When the NRHP forms last were updated in 2012, some Mac users experienced difficulties with the updated forms. So far, DHR has not heard from anyone encountering similar problems with these recently updated forms. However, in the event that anyone using a Mac computer cannot use the newly updated form, we have retained links to the 2012 versions for Macs on our website. Either version of the form will be accepted by DHR and the National Park Service.

No new guidelines or requirements for completing nominations will be issued to accompany the updated forms.
Proposed NRHP Rule Changes Will Not Proceed

In 2019, the Trump administration proposed changes to several aspects of the National Register of Historic Places program. The method for calculating property owners’ objections to a proposed historic district nomination was proposed to be changed from one person, one vote, to granting veto power over the nomination to the owner of the most land within the district. Federal agencies were to be granted exclusive authority for nominating federally-owned properties, a change that the administration had asserted would not affect federally-recognized tribes. This overlooked the fact that many places of cultural and historical significance to tribes are located on federally-owned lands. The rule change process was not completed before the transition from the Trump to the Biden administration in January 2021. Officials in the Biden administration have opted not to continue with the proposed changes.
ACHP Chair Resigns

Following a request from President Joseph Biden, Aimee Jorjani, chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), resigned on February 5, 2021. Former Chair Jorjani was the first full-time, Senate confirmed ACHP chair. A 2016 amendment to the National Historic Preservation Act made the chair position a full-time, Senate-confirmed position. Jorjani was nominated by former President Trump and her term ended January 21, 2021. Part-time chairs who had preceded Jorjani were allowed to stay in the position until a successor was named. At the time that she was asked to resign, Jorjani had been leading the effort to hire a new ACHP executive director. After selecting a candidate, voting was scheduled to conclude on February 9, but the vote was cancelled and the process of hiring an executive director cancelled as well. Former ACHP executive director John Fowler is serving part time as executive director until his replacement is hired. It is unclear when President Biden will nominate someone to serve as ACHP chair. ACHP Vice Chair Rick Gonzales will carry out the functions of the chair while the position is vacant.

Register-Listed Properties in the News

Virginia State University Completes Rehabilitation Work on Campus
Virginia State University has produced videos highlighting the historic preservation work recently completed at Vawter and Storum Halls, two of the oldest buildings on campus. Both projects were funded by the National Park Service. The videos feature DHR’s Adrienne Birge-Wilson, state stewardship manager, and Lucious Edwards, historian and archivist at VSU.
Each video is available on You Tube through the following links: Overview of the Project, History of the Halls. The Plan, Vawter, and Storum.

Boones Mill Depot Rehab Back on Track

In late February the Roanoke Times reported on the progress that the Boones Mill Depot Restoration Committee is making on rehabilitation of the Franklin County depot, which will open to the public later this year. Erected in 1892 by the short-lived Roanoke and Southern Railway Company, the depot closed to passenger service around 1965 and to freight service by about 1970. The depot became property of the Norfolk Southern Railroad (NSR) in 1982 and withstood years of vacancy and neglect. In 2014, NSR offered the depot to the Town of Boones Mill on the condition that the town relocate it.
Fort Monroe (Wikipedia)
Fort Monroe Named 'Site of Memory'

Last month Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced at Fort Monroe that UNESCO has designated the historic structure as a "site of memory." Fort Monroe joins 50 sites worldwide and three in Virginia — Colonial Williamsburg, Evergreen Cemetery in Richmond and Monticello — to receive this designation.

According to the Daily Press, "Organizers say the UNESCO designation is a part of sharing the continuing story about Fort Monroe and its arc of freedom. It’s where slavery as an institution in this country began when the first 20 and odd Africans who arrived in 1619, and lasted 246 years. It’s where three men dubbed 'contraband of war,' sought refuge at the fortress during the Civil War. It is where President Barack Obama in 2011 issued a proclamation making the fort a national monument under the National Park Service. It will be the site where an African Landing Memorial honoring that first generation will be installed."

News from Around Virginia

Bray School
Bray School Building Identified on
The College of William & Mary Campus

The building that housed a colonial-era school for Blacks, operating between 1760 and 1774 and commonly referred to as the "Bray School," has been identified on the W&L campus. It is an "unremarkable old building," the Washington Post reports, "with an important story to tell." William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation officials consider it “likely the oldest extant building in the United States dedicated to the education of Black children.” The Williamsburg Bray School Initiative, a joint venture of W&L and CWF, will use the site as “a focal point for research, scholarship and dialogue regarding the complicated story of race, religion and education in Williamsburg and in America,” according to a statement the partners issued last month.
A Chance to Recognize Your Favorite Historic Restaurant!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express have launched Backing Historic Small Restaurants, a new grant opportunity to aid restaurant recovery as the pandemic drags on.
The goal is to award $1 million in grants to 25 historic restaurants throughout the U.S. to help improve, update, and preserve exterior physical spaces and online businesses. The program has a preference for restaurants owned by underrepresented groups, including People of Color and women, disproportionally impacted by the pandemic. If you know of a cozy café, delicious dive, or other community fixture that has stood the test of time and served their communities for decades—but are now are facing their biggest challenge yet from the COVID-19 pandemic—you have until March 9 to nominate your favorite place. Additional information, including a link to submit your nomination, is here.

Grant Opportunities

Underrepresented Communities Grant Program Applications Open

The National Park Service’s (NPS) Underrepresented Community Grant Program (URC) supports diversifying the nominations submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. URC grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) and administered by the NPS. Projects include surveys and inventories of historic properties associated with communities underrepresented in the National Register, as well as the development of nominations to the National Register for specific sites. Congress has appropriated $750,000 in URC funding for FY2020. Applications are due March 31, 2021.

Additional information about this grant program is available at this NPS webpage. Grant application materials are available through this federal government web portal.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program

The NPS's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program (HBCU) works to fund physical preservation of National Register listed historic sites on accredited HBCU campuses. Since the 1990s, the National Park Service has awarded over $77 million in grants to over 60 of the remaining active HBCUs. HBCU grants are funded by the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), and are administered by the NPS. Projects include pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, and the repair and rehabilitation of historic properties according the Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation. Congress has appropriated $10 million in HBCU funding for FY2020. Applications are due March 31, 2021.

Additional information here about the HBCU grant program; grant application materials are available through the federal government’s portal.

Training Opportunities

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.” The most recent webinar focuses on preparing for and responding to natural disasters that affect historic properties. Access the videos here. See updates about Preservation Virginia’s community outreach and preservation programs.
Library of Va logo
Genealogy Workshop Series at Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia houses a vast collection of materials and records documenting the lives of Virginians. Delving into those records to explore family history can be satisfying and rewarding but also daunting given the volume of records available. The Library offers an ongoing series of workshops, geared to all levels of expertise, to explore collections and offer advice on how to organize research. See more information or register at this workshop series webpage. Learn more about the genealogy resources at the Library. A resource guide is also helpful in organizing research.
Diverse Histories for a Diverse Nation Webinar Series

The Strickland Visiting Scholar Program at Middle Tennessee State University will present two webinars with emphasis on the relevance of history to contemporary history. Each will be hosted by Dr. Martha Norkunas, Professor of Oral and Public History.
March 4 starting at 7:00 p.m. the discussion will be about Slavery, Abolition, Secession and the National Park Service. Speakers are--
  • Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley, former chief historian of the NPS and co-author of The U.S. Constitution and Secession: A Documentary Anthology of Slavery and White Supremacy, and
  • Rolf Diamont, former superintendent of Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and author of the forthcoming Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition and The National Park Idea.
April 8 a second webinar scheduled is Race, Gender, Indigeneity, and the Meaning of Narrative and Excavated Pasts. Presenters are--
  • Dr. Maria Franklin, Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas Austin and a historic archaeologist of the Black experience from the colonial period to the early 20th century;
  • Kendra Field, Associate Professor in the Department of History at Tufts University and author of Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War; and
  • Dr. Nedra Lee, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a historic archaeologist specializing in the African Diaspora, gender, critical race studies, and processes of racial formation during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
See details and a link to each Zoom meeting.