May is Preservation Month and we’re recapping previous Most Endangered Historic Places listings in the nominator’s own words. You can read an update on the Warm Springs Bath Houses and Gibson Cottage and check back to hear updates on the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, Ashland Theatre and James River.
The following update is on the Carr-Greer Farmhouse courtesy of Steve Thompson of the Ivy Creek Foundation.
What prompted you to submit a nomination for the Most Endangered Historic Places list?
[The Ivy Creek Foundation] nominated the Carr-Greer house [in 2018] in the hopes that doing so would bring broader attention to the state of the building and to our organization’s efforts to preserve/rehabilitate it.
What condition is the Carr-Greer Farmhouse in today?
The physical condition of the building remains in need of repair, but the owner—a municipal government—has allocated funds for the first stage of study and planning and to address the most pressing issues concerning the building’s envelop (roof, foundation, exterior cladding). We are very hopeful that work to address stabilization and other repairs will begin before the end of the year. Given our current understanding of the likely total cost of the project, work will have to occur in stages and likely will take considerable time to complete. If all goes well, the envelope will be sealed and secure in a year’s time and while the building may be mothballed until additional funds become available. We would consider that a success.
How did being included on the Most Endangered Historic Places list help amplify your preservation efforts?
Inclusion on the list certainly provided a boost to our preservation efforts; based on the listing the local newspaper carried an article about the project, and we were invited to be interviewed on a local radio program. The attention did not last for too long following the announcement, however, although Preservation Virginia has followed up by inviting us to speak at a conference. In retrospect, it would have been useful to follow-up the announcement with other publicity and initiatives, such as a capital campaign.
How has the local community supported preservation efforts for your listing?
We are fortunate, in some ways, that this property is publicly owned as initial funding is coming from the municipalities – that is, from local taxpayers. Our organization has yet to launch its own capital campaign to contribute to the rehabilitation funds, though we anticipate having to do so.
How can the public further support your listing today?
By providing gifts of money, expertise, time, and/or materials.
What advice would you give to local organizations or individuals trying to preserve historic places in their communities?
Understand that it requires far more money, planning, expertise and time than you imagine.
Your support makes programs like the Most Endangered Historic Places list possible. Be a voice for historic places and stand with Preservation Virginia as we advocate for these historic sites by making your best gift to the Annual Fund. Together, we can preserve Virginia’s shared history, promote new vitality in communities and protect the places that make Virginia unique.