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Historic Courthouses in Virginia Symposium

Historic Courthouses in Virginia Symposium, May 19 and 20, 2016, in Staunton, VA

Evening Reception May 19,  6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and day-long program of speakers and sessions May 20, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration fee is $85/person.

Historic Staunton Foundation at the  R. R. Smith History Center, 22 South New Street, Staunton, VA

Since Preservation Virginia's May 2015 Most Endangered Historic Places listing for Historic Courthouses and Courthouse Squares- Statewide, we have continued to work with localities on this preservation issue.  (Click here for an interim update on the listing).  In partnership with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, we are pleased to offer this symposium as a way to foster dialogue and to develop and refine best practices for how to re-use and adapt these historic structures.

Historic courthouses anchor Virginia’s communities.  Now, more than ever, they require innovative planning to preserve their historical integrity while fulfilling 21st c. needs and services. This symposium brings together practitioners, decision-makers, and preservation professionals to address best practices, case studies, and other key resources to help preserve the symbolic presence of the Virginia courthouse.

Keynote speaker Richard Guy Wilson, University of Virginia, will be joined by additional speakers and panelists including Thursday evening remarks by John O. Peters, co-author (with Margaret T. Peters) of Virginia's Historic Courthouses. The book will be available for signing and purchase during the symposium.  

Please click here to download and print the final program for May 19-20, 2016. 

Please click here for speaker and presenter biographies.  

For more information, please feel free to contact Justin Sarafin, Director of Preservation Initiatives & Engagement, at  If you are a current student, a special registration rate may be available by contacting Lisa Bergstrom at


Venue, Parking, and Accommodations 

For information about the R. R. Smith History Centerclick here.  

For parking information, including the New Street Parking Garage located across the street from the R. R. Smith History Center venue, click here.

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel at 24 South Market Street, Staunton, VA 24401 ( has extended special rates for Thursday, May 19th for those attending the symposium: $89.00/night base rate for government employees and $109.00/night for non-government attendees.  To book at these rates, mention Preservation Virginia when you contact the hotel at 540-885-4848 or

Frederick House at 28 North New Street, Staunton, VA 24401 ( can be reached at 540-885-4220 or

Howard Johnson Express Inn Staunton, 268 North Central Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401 (


Courthouse Symposium Registration online form.