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Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce that Bacons Castle is set to Re-open March 2

January 23, 2012

Preservation Virginia is pleased to announce the re-opening of Bacon's Castle after a 15 month closure. "Preservation Virginia used this time to complete some much needed restoration and stabilization work as well as the completion of reinterpretation initiatives to help expand our programs and audience, maintain relevancy in the community and sustain the site." notes Elizabeth Kostelny, Executive Director of Preservation Virginia. Such work included conducting community input forums, an on site charrette that pooled the knowledge of nationally acclaimed historians, archaeologists, marketing and tourism professionals as well as representatives from the local community who joined forces to meet and discuss creative new ideas for the reinterpretation of this significant site.

In addition to this thoughtful planning and research, Preservation Virginia appointed Todd Ballance as Bacon's Castle new Site Coordinator. Todd is a resident of Isle of Wight County and brings to Bacon's Castle over 27 years of cumulative historic preservation experience. He has worked and volunteered with a diverse range of museums and historic sites including Preservation Virginia's Lynnhaven House and Smith's Fort Plantation, the National Park Service at Petersburg National Battlefield, Harper's Ferry, and Gettysburg, Fort Ticonderoga, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Virginia War Museum, Endview Plantation, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, Bel Air Mansion, and Henricus Historical Park. His expertise lies in educational programming and museum business management. He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Historic Preservation from Longwood University in Farmville, VA, is a current member of the Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM).

About Bacon's Castle

Bacon's Castle is the oldest datable brick dwelling in North America and America's only surviving High Jacobean structure. Built by Arthur Allen in 1665, Bacon's Castle was occupied by rebel troops in 1676 during Bacon's Rebellion. The house is furnished with English and Southern antiques of the late 17th and 18th centuries as reflected in three 18th- century inventories of the Allen home. The tranquil, rural grounds include the best preserved, largest, and most sophisticated colonial-era garden in North America. Found through an archaeological investigation, the excavation and the restoration of the garden were funded through the work of The Garden Club of Virginia.

An Opportunity for Public Input

Upon the re-opening of Bacon's Castle, visitors will be welcome to be a part of a rare opportunity to influence the direction of the new interpretation of this nationally registered historic landmark. Preservation Virginia is asking its guests to provide live feedback of proposed interpretation of the house and grounds during their visit. Jennifer Hurst, Preservation Virginia's Associate Director of Museum Operations and Education says "Each visitor will be afforded the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions of the new highlighted information being presented during their tour. Preservation Virginia will ask guests what they would most like to know and experience while visiting Bacon's Castle, a site that has participated in four centuries of American life and is continuing to be an active participant in the 21st century by listening to the needs of its community."

About Preservation Virginia

Since 1974, Preservation Virginia has preserved, protected and interpreted Bacon's Castle in an effort to save and share an integral part of American history for the benefit of future generations.

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners. For more information, visit www.preservationvirginia.org, find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter @preservationva.

Press Contact

Elizabeth Kostelny
Executive Director
Preservation Virginia
204 West Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220
ekostelny@preservationvirginia.org