Historic Preservation Commission

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission was established by City Council in 2008 as an advisory body on issues related to the preservation of historic buildings, structures and sites located in the City of Virginia Beach.  Members of the Council-appointed Commission work to preserve, protect and maintain the historic identity of Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County.  They pursue this through a program of advocacy, public awareness and increased public involvement. ​

​​​The Historic Preservation Commission is made up of between 9 and 15 citizens who have a passion for the preservation of Virginia Beach’s historic buildings and sites.  Many of the members bring with them expertise in the fields of architecture, archaeology and history.  Many of the members own historic buildings and their hands on experience with preservation is an invaluable tool for the Commission. The Commission also has two appointed student members from local high schools.

The Historic Preservation Commission is supported by the Department of Planning. The Commission meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:00 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, 2101 Parks​ Avenue, Suite 500. The Commission typically holds an annual public meeting to discuss the state of historic preservation in Virginia Beach and to collect ideas and concerns from the citizens.​


 Historic Preservation Month

The Historic Preservation Commission invites you to celebrate Historic Preservation Month in Virginia Beach in May 2019.  Recognizing Historic Preservation Month draws attention to a community's historic buildings and sites.  Here in Virginia Beach we have a diverse collection of historic buildings ranging from colonial homes as early as the 1720s and 1730s to the 20th-century modern architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Local historic preservation depends on grass roots efforts from citizens interested in preserving the community's historical identity.

 The Commission's student member, Briana Perez, has engaged middle and high school students in a pilot program of a Scavenger Hunt for local history.  This was done in advance of Historic Preservation Month to take advantage of Spring Break.  Check back here for results from the project. Join the Commission on Tuesday, May 7 at the City Council's formal session (6:00 p.m.) where Mayor Dyer will issue a proclamation for Historic Preservation Month in Virginia Beach.

 Join the Commission and Preservation Virginia during May to toast Historic Preservation Month at Pints for Preservation events around the City.  Proceeds from these "Happy Hours" will go to Preservation Virginia for ongoing restoration work at the Cape Henry Lighthouse.

 Research Grant Program

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission established a Research Grant Program in 2016 to encourage scholarship about persons, places and events significant to the history of the City of Virginia Beach, Princess Anne County and the related earlier historic and prehistoric eras in this area of southeastern Virginia.  The grant program supports research on local history that provides a final report or other stated product, such as a historic marker or interpretive sign. 

The Research Grant Program has successfully helped to fund several state historical highway markers, curriculum development in the local public school system and important new research about the diverse history of our community. The Commission approved six grants in 2016 totaling $10,000; four grants in 2017 totaling $8,460; and, 9 grants in 2018 totaling $13,000.  One supplemental grant of $2,425 has been provided in 2019.

Read more information on many of the completed research projects

Applications for the 2019/20 grant cycle will be accepted July 8 through August 15, 2019.  Click here to download a grant application form. Completed applications may be submitted in person to the Historic Preservation Planner or in PDF format as an attachment and sent via e-mail to mreed@vbgov.com.  The Historic Preservation Commission encourages the pursuit of research projects that increase our knowledge of Virginia Beach and that help to raise awareness about the rich and diverse history and historic resources.

Please contact Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner, for additional information about the 2019/20 Research Grant Program – mreed@vbgov.com; 757-385-8573.



​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 9, 2019
​February 6, 2019
​March 6, 2019
​April 3, 2019
​May 1, 2019
​June 5, 2019 - CANCELLED
​September 4, 2019
​October 2, 2019
​November 6, 2019
​December 4, 2019


​Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 10, 2018
​February 7, 2018
​March 7, 2018
​April 4, 2018
​May 2, 2018
​June 6, 2018
​September 5, 2018
​October 3, 2018
​November 7, 2018
​December 5, 2018


Hearing Date​Agenda​Minutes
​January 4, 2017
​​February 1, 2017
​March 1, 2017
​​April 5, 2017
​​May 3, 2017
​June 7, 2017
​September 6, 2017
​​October 4, 2017
​November 1, 2017
​December 6, 2017

 Virginia Beach Historical Register

The Virginia Beach Historical Register was established by the Virginia Beach City Council in 1999. The register recognizes buildings, structures and sites that are important to and/or illustrative of the historical development of the city and its predecessor jurisdictions. Nomination/application to the register is voluntary and must have the consent of the property owner. A property’s standing on the register is honorary and carries no restrictions or regulatory oversight.

Properties placed on the register are recognized by the issuance of a certificate that notes their status as a local historic landmark and their contribution to the character of Virginia Beach. Property owners also receive a bronze plaque to identify the building’s placement on the register.

Applications are accepted by the Department of Planning and Community Development on an ongoing basis. Once the application package has been determined to be complete it is forwarded to the Historic Preservation Commission’s Historical Register Committee for review and evaluation.  The Committee will schedule a site visit to the applicant property as part of their review process. A link to an Application Form  may be found at the bottom of this page.

Please contact Mark Reed, Historic Preservation Planner, for additional information about the Virginia Beach Historical Register – mreed@vbgov.com; 757-385-8573.

Virginia Beach Historical Register List

Virginia Beach Historical Register and Nomination/Application Form

 Certified Local Government

The City of Virginia Beach was designated as a Certified Local Government by the National Park Service on August 25, 2016. The Certified Local Government (CLG) program establishes a partnership between the local government, the federal historic preservation program and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which in Virginia is the Department of Historic Resources (DHR). Designation as a CLG gives Virginia Beach a way to participate more formally in the state and national historic preservation programs.

The Goals of the Virginia CLG Program are:

  • Promote viable communities through preservation
  • Recognize and reward communities with sound local preservation programs
  • Establish credentials of quality for local preservation programs

Virginia Beach meets the requirements for its CLG designation by:

  • Having a historic district ordinance that – defines district boundaries, establishes a review board, identifies actions for review, and provides for the protection of local historic resources
  • Having a review board that administers the ordinance and a preservation commission that works as an advocate for preservation in the City
  • Continuing to survey local heritage resources
  • Promoting public participation in the local heritage stewardship program
  • Reporting annually on the performance of its CLG responsibilities

Surveys of Virginia Beach's Heritage Resources:

  Commission Members/Committees

Member Term Committee

William Gambrell, Chair

1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021 Executive

James B. Wood, 1st Vice Chair

1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021 Princess Anne County Confederated Monument Statue Roundtable (co-chair)

Sharon Prescott, 2nd Vice Chair

1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021

Historic Preservation Month; Policies for City-owned Building and Sites; Public Meeting

Bobbie Gribble, Secretary

1/1/2017 - 12/31/2019


Bernice Pope, Immediate Past Chair

1/1/2017 - 12/31/2019

Sea Level Rise

Michel C. Ashe, FAIA

1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020

Dr. Glenn Carwell

1/1/2017 - 12/31/2019 Princess Anne Courthouse

Jennifer Brown Estes

2/21/2017 - 12/31/2020 Threatened Building and Sites
​Sharon Felton​1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020​Historic Districts; Princess Anne County Confederate Monument Statue Roundtable (co-chair)

Harriet Frenzel

1/1/2017- 12/31/2019

James M. Jordan IV

1/1/2019 -12/31/2021


​Partick Kane​4/16/2019- 12/13/2020
Chief Lee Lockamy 1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020

Katherine Paulson

1/1/2019 -12/31/2021 Recognition of Historic Building

C. Mac Rawls

1/1/2018 - 12/31/2020 Cape Henry Historic Site

Brianna Perez (Student)

7/03/2017 - 6/30/2019

Student Leaders (co-chair)