The Department of Historic Resources has two appointed citizen boards, the State Review Board and the Virginia Board of Historic Resources.
Appointed by the agency’s director, the State Review Board (SRB) consists of professionals representing the fields most relevant to the functioning of DHR:
Appointed by the Governor, the Virginia Board of Historic Resources (VBHR or BHR) consists of citizens of the Commonwealth with an interest in, and commitment to historic preservation.
When do the boards meet?
The State Review Board and Virginia Board of Historic Resources meet jointly each quarter of the year, usually the third Thursday in March, June, September and the second Thursday of December.
What does each board do?
Both boards consider completed nominations to the Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) and the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations are made first to the VLR, and, once listed there, are forwarded for consideration for listing in the National Register. (The same nomination form is used for both the state and national registers.)
During the boards’ joint quarterly meeting, the Board of Historic Resources votes on whether a nomination has made a case for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register. If the board votes to accept the nomination, it is officially listed in the VLR at the completion of voting.
While the State Review Board does not vote to officially accept or reject nominations at the state level, it does vote to recommend to DHR’s director if a nomination should be forwarded to the National Park Service (which oversees the National Register program) for consideration for the National Register of Historic Places. If the State Review Board recommends a nomination for the National Register, the agency’s director reviews nomination and typically sends it to the Keeper of the National Register within a month. The Keeper’s Office has a 45-day review period after which it either accepts or rejects a nomination for listing. (The Keeper’s Office may reject a nomination for specific reasons and ask DHR for additional information or revisions, prior to reconsidering the nomination.)
The Virginia Board of Historic Resources is also authorized by statue to approve new (or revised) state historical markers. Additionally, the VBHR is authorized by statute to hold easements to protect historic resources throughout the Commonwealth. DHR staff administers those easements on behalf of the VBHR. During quarterly meetings, the VBHR considers for approval new historical marker texts and easement donations.
What is the State Review Board’s role in the National Register evaluation process?
During the National Register evaluation process, the State Review Board takes into consideration the recommendations of DHR’s National Register Evaluation Committee, which meets twice monthly throughout the year. The committee’s evaluations are summarized in a Preliminary Information Form (PIF). These forms are also considered at each quarterly meeting by the State Review Board. Typically during a meeting, the State Review Board considers completed National Register nominations in the morning session, and PIFs in the afternoon.
The board’s approval of a PIF signals to an applicant that he or she may prepare a National Register nomination.
After a formal nomination form is prepared, it is submitted to the appropriate regional office for review.
DHR’s regional staff provides advice about a draft nomination. They may offer ways to improve the document so that it best identifies and explains the appropriate National Register criteria that would earn a resource listing on the National Register. DHR staff members may also advise on how to research a resource and offer other insights into helping a nomination’s sponsors meet the rigorous National Park Service standards of documentation for a historic resource. After a nomination form is completed, the department places the nomination on the agenda of the next forthcoming quarterly board meeting.
A motivated applicant may see his or her Preliminary Information Form considered in one quarterly board meeting, and his/her completed National Register nomination considered in the next quarterly meeting.
If you wish to contact any of the board members listed below, please notify Jennifer Pullen at DHR, (804) 482-6085. She will forward your request to a board member.
Joseph D. Lahendro, Chair, Charlottesville
Sara Bon-Harper, Ph.D., Vice Chair, Charlottesville
Jody Allen, Ashland
Carl Lounsbury, Ph.D., Williamsburg
John Mullen, Alexandria
John Salmon, Richmond
Carol Shull, Arlington
Colita Nichols Fairfax, Chair, Norfolk
Ashley Atkins-Spivey, Vice Chair, Pamunkey Reservation
Jeffrey Harris, Hampton
Karice Luck-Brimmer, Danville
David Ruth, Hanover County
W. Tucker Lemon, Roanoke
Updated February 24, 2021