May 2020 is Historic Preservation Month in Virginia Beach

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

​May is Historic Preservation Month and Mayor Robert M. " Bobby" Dyer is calling on all citizens to recognize the importance of historic preservation in maintaining the historical identity of Virginia Beach. The Mayor will issue a proclamation for Historic Preservation Month to the City's Historic Preservation Commission on May 5. 

The proclamation states that the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the centerpiece of Virginia Beach's City Seal, has been preserved for 90 years by Preservation Virginia. The lighthouse was the first federally funded public works project by the new United States government under George Washington. The proclamation also notes that the city has 22 individual historic properties and five historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The full text of the Mayor's proclamation may be found at www.vbgov.com/historicpreservation.

Recognition of Historic Preservation Month has its origins in 1971 when The National Trust for Historic Preservation created Preservation Week to spotlight grassroots efforts in historic preservation in America.  Virginia Beach's grassroots preservation organization, the Princess Anne County/Virginia Beach Historical Society, was chartered in 1961.

The Virginia Beach City Council established the Historic Preservation Commission in 2008 to advise Council members on issues related to historic preservation. The Commission seeks to preserve, protect and maintain the historic identity of Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County through a program of advocacy and increased public awareness and involvement. Through the efforts of the Commission and the Department of Planning and Community Development, Virginia Beach received Certified Local Government designation from the National Park Service in 2016, which recognizes the City's strong preservation program. Recently, Preservation Virginia, the oldest statewide preservation organization in the nation, selected the Commission as their 2019 recipient of the Katherine Glaize Rockwood Award for Outstanding Community Preservation.

Questions about the City's historic preservation program may be directed to Historic Preservation Planner Mark Reed at mreed@vbgov.com or (757) 385-8573.

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The City of Virginia Beach and Preservation Virginia recently completed a $1.1 million project to stabilize the structure's base to preserve the Cape Henry Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark.

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