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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

DHR Announces Cost Share and Planning Grant Awards for 2020-2021

A motor court complex in the proposed Colonial Beach historic district
A motor court complex in the proposed Colonial Beach historic district.

Grants support projects in the counties of Bedford, Fauquier, and Henrico; the towns of Ashland (Hanover Co.) and Colonial Beach (Westmoreland Co.); and the City of Virginia Beach

DHR has awarded $53,500 in Cost Share Survey and Planning Program grants to fund preservation projects in six localities that will use those grants to leverage around $110,000 in matching funds. The projects entail surveying historic buildings and drafting nominations to list districts and two former African American schools on the National Register of Historic Places, among other endeavors.

This year’s awards for the 2020-2021 funding cycle go to the counties of Bedford ($6,500), Fauquier ($10,000), and Henrico ($10,750), the towns of Ashland ($3,500) and Colonial Beach ($7,500), and the City of Virginia Beach ($15,250).

DHR anticipates that survey projects slated for these localities will result in new or updated information for hundreds of historic properties. Selected cost share projects must meet DHR’s survey priorities such as updating older survey records, recording resources in under-surveyed parts of the state, and documenting places associated with Virginia’s diverse history.

DHR awards cost share grants on a competitive basis and provides to recipients administrative services for each project selected, in addition to funding. The grant recipients — local governments and planning district commissions — must complete the projects by the end of June 2021.

This year’s funded projects will support and enable —

  • The Town of Ashland (Hanover Co.) to conduct a survey of 12 important properties within a proposed Berkleytown Historic District and to prepare a Preliminary Information Form for the district, the first step toward nominating a district (or individual property) to the National Register of Historic Places. Berkleytown is historically an African American community in Ashland.
  • Bedford County, in partnership with the Bedford Historical Society and the Susie G. Gibson Alumni Association, to hire consultants to draft two National Register nomination forms for Susie G. Gibson High School and Bedford Training School. Both buildings served African American students during the era of segregation. The county and its school board would like to rehabilitate one school using tax credits, an effort led by the Town of Bedford’s Economic Development Department.
  • The Town of Colonial Beach (Westmoreland Co.) to conduct a survey of about 45 properties and to prepare a National Register nomination form for a proposed Downtown Colonial Beach Commercial Historic District. The project builds on previous surveys and documentation conducted in 2016.
  • Fauquier County to conduct a survey of 45 properties affiliated with Black history. The project’s scope also includes preparing a report, based on the survey, to contextualize African American history and affiliated resources in the county. Fauquier County intends the project to be the first phase in the development a National Register form known as a Multiple Property Document that would discuss thematic trends that influenced development of the county’s historic African American resources. The MPD would facilitate future listing of African American–affiliated buildings, sites, and properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Henrico County to survey around 477 properties and to prepare a National Register nomination for a proposed Fairfield-Sandston Historic District. The project builds on a locally funded previous survey that resulted in a Preliminary Information Form (PIF). The proposed district occupies one of the county’s Revitalization Opportunity Areas, and a listing in the National Register and the Virginia Landmarks Register could encourage property owners to rehabilitate properties using tax credits.
  • Virginia Beach to update the city’s 1994 preservation plan. The updated plan will draw on recommendations resulting from recent surveys of the city’s historic architectural and archaeological resources. The update aims to establish goals, recommendations, and actions that will inform the city’s program for preserving its historic resources and outline strategies for addressing threats to the same.

The cost share program was launched in 1991, and to date more than 120 localities have participated in it.

Updated October 15, 2020