The Department of Historic Resources (DHR) encourages and supports the stewardship and use of Virginia’s significant architectural, archaeological, and historic resources as valuable assets for the economic, educational, social, and cultural benefit of citizens and communities.
We envision a future for Virginia where historic places are recognized and managed as valuable and irreplaceable economic, cultural, and educational assets for the benefit of individual property owners and for the communities in which we live, play, and work--and where people recycle buildings as routinely as they recycle cans and glass. We also envision the Department of Historic Resources as a nationally recognized historic preservation and customer service agency that provides the tools and the leadership to inspire and assist property owners, developers, local governments and public agencies to ensure that Virginia’s historic buildings, districts, sites and other historic properties are appropriately considered in public and private decision-making, effectively preserved and used for the benefit of our communities today and for many generations to come.
- Customer Service
The Department of Historic Resources (DHR) carries out a variety of programs that encourage the preservation of Virginia’s historic resources. Preservation programs include (but are not limited to) the Virginia Landmarks Register, Review of State and Federal Projects, State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, Easements, Historical Highway Markers and Archaeological programs. Also, DHR administers grants to non-state entities under the Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation program.
DHR’s funding comes from general funds, federal grants, private gifts and donations, State Tax Act, archives research, curatorial fees. Other sources include sales and royalties from publications, copy machine fees, interest, and federal grant cost recoveries.
(Changes to Initial Appropriation will be 0 when the plan is created. They will change when the plan is updated mid-biennium.)
|Initial Appropriation for the Biennium||4,395,876||2,411,697||4,396,523||2,411,920|
|Changes to Initial Appropriation||-207,615||0||34,875||0|
Anticipated Changes to Customer Base
DHR's customer base includes individuals, agencies, and organizations that own or otherwise benefit from historic resources. Stakeholders deal directly with DHR to register historic homes and commercial buildings and seek guidance and incentives to rehabilitate buildings, to conduct research on Virginia history or to support sound private and public decision-making, or, perhaps most importantly, to use historic places as platforms for educating both children and adult learners. They also include travelers and citizens who experience the economic, cultural and quality of life benefits of tourist attractions and livable historic communities. Demand for and reliance on DHR service from one customer group to another varies greatly depending on the nature of the service (e.g. educational materials vs technical assistance) and on changing economic situations of the customers/industry served. For example, as economic pressures affect both public and private construction, the number of projects on which DHR is consulted may go down, but the complexity of requests may increase because the requesting organization or agency lacks experience and expertise. Overall, the numbers of customers tend to be relatively stable--but the service they require continues to grow. The number of historic property owners continues to grow as Virginia's building stock ages, as more and more historic properties are identified, and as more owners choose to place those properties under protective easements. For example, in the past decade, the number of easements that DHR oversees has risen from roughly 200 to over 600.
Current Customer List
|Potential Number of Annual Customers|
|Consumer||General public and tourist||500,000||8,300,000||Stable|
|Higher Education Institutions||Scholars and researchers||300||2,000||Stable|
|Local or Regional Government Authorities||Local governments||45||300||Increase|
|Minority||Native American tribes and other Native American groups||11||11||Stable|
|Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),||Historic attractions and museums||60||700||Stable|
|Non-Profit Agency (Boards/Foundations),||Non-profit organizations that purchase, conserve, and manage Civil War battlefield lands and easements||7||10||Stable|
|Organization||Memorial associations and other organizations caring for the graves of Confederate and Revolutionary War Veterans and certain African Americans||350||350||Increase|
|Organization||Preservation organizations and professionals||100||600||Stable|
|Property Owner||Owners of historic properties||1,000||100,000||Increase|
|State Agency(s),||State Agencies that own or impact historic resources||50||80||Increase|
|Student||Students, teachers, and educational institutions||2,000||1,000,000||Stable|
|Federal Agency||Federal Agencies||80||200||Increase|
|• ||Improve appropriate management of historic assets|
Identifying, evaluating and protecting historic resources supports broad priorities in economic development, tourism, education, conservation, response to climate change and emergency preparedness. Historic resources are tangible assets that form the basis for a $22 billion tourism industry and that stimulates billions of dollars into the economy through rehabilitation of older buildings in urban cores creating thousands of jobs as well as homes for families and businesses alike. Historic places provide the authentic experience to educate our children and enhance the quality of life in communities all across the Commonwealth. Reusing historic buildings reduces waste and energy consumption and encourages reuse of urban centers providing homes for families and businesses alike not only providing homes for families and commercial enterprises but also strengthening our efforts to protect and renew the environment. Virginia is blessed with a rich and varied collection of historic resources ranging from archaeological sites that tell the story of Native American's living here over 16,000 year ago to the Civil War that give our communities a unique character that draw visitors from around the nation and the world. The Department of Historic Resources programs support a wide range of public and private efforts to make the most of irreplaceable historic resources that can and should benefit Virginia communities for generations to come. Additionally, DHR is the steward of a wealth of information about historic resources and the Commonwealth's primary archaeological collections. It is our responsibility to the citizens of the Commonwealth to increase and manage both information and artifact collections effectively and to encourage their use in planning and decisions that will shape the future of historic buildings, sites, and other historic resources. Providing the level of high quality expertise and effective service needed to address DHR's mission and goals requires a high trained and highly motivated staff committed to historic preservation principals and to outstanding customer service. It is the agency's challenge and commitment in turn to hire and retain qualified staff, to encourage life-long professional learning and growth, and to recognize and reward exemplary performance in ways that build and retain a high performance team.
Natural Resources: Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
|» ||Improve the preparedness and resilience of historic places, archaeological and museum collections and records to address hazard mitigation and long-term climate change|
This objective supports emergency preparedness and response particularly in the face of extreme weather conditions, earthquake, and climate change. As Virginia's state historic preservation office, DHR maintains and provides information about historic resources statewide as well as expertise in archaeology and historic preservation disciplines that are vital to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, local governments, historic property owners and other decision-makers as they respond to emergencies such as fire, flood, wind and other damage to historic buildings and sites. These services are increasingly important as Virginia agencies and communities prepare for and respond to rising waters and more extreme weather conditions associated with climate change. As such, the agency is committed to updating and managing that data in a way that it will be ready at a moments notice when needed to maintain an inter "culture of preparedness" so that core agency services are always available and to provide information and guidance about how other persons and organizations whose decisions affect historic resources can be prepared as well.
• Review existing disaster response and recovery plans, partnerships, and procedures
• Identify those areas/historic resources/cultural collections, etc. most vulnerable to and in need of additional historic preservation assistance and expertise in disaster planning, response, and recovery
• Work actively with statewide and local emergency management agencies/organizations to ensure cultural resources are properly considered in all state and local hazard mitigation planning efforts
• Provide tools to help preservation partners in their hazard mitigation and climate change planning and response efforts
• Create and disseminate guidance both online and through other means to help stakeholders prepare for and respond to emergencies including those related to climate change, extreme weather conditions, earthquakes, and rising sea-levels
• Develop a statewide disaster management/hazard mitigation plan template for owners and managers of historic assets
• Manage and promote a network of and toolkits for Museum Emergency Support Teams (MESTs)
• Conduct joint training programs and workshops to address hazard mitigation and climate change planning and response
|» ||Expand statewide and local survey data.|
This objective ensures that public and private decision-makers have reliable, up-to-date information on the location, nature, and relative significance of historic buildings, sites, objects, structures, and districts throughout the Commonwealth. Objective supports economic development and tourism, transportation and other public planning, community revitalization, and reuse of existing infrastructure. It encompasses both the identification of historic resources and their inclusion in a system that is readily accessible to decision-makers and the public recognition of those resources that meet the criteria for historic, architectural, or archaeological significance through listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
• Add to and/or update survey records in inventory
• Prioritize, facilitate, and conduct surveys based on geographic area, history-related theme, property types, and known climate change and development pressures
• Conduct survey and planning projects through Cost-Share, certified local government and other grants and partnerships
• Identify core areas of probably sea level rise, threat of severe flooding, and target surveys of historic places in those areas
|» ||Evaluate and register/designate significant historic properties|
This objective speaks directly to DHR's mission. Identifying, evaluating and honoring significant historic resources is at the core of this agency's commitment to encouraging and supporting the stewardship of Virginia's valuable assets for the economic, educational, social, and cultural benefit of its citizens and communities.
• Manage the process, in collaboration with property owners, localities, public agencies, and others leading to listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places
• Develop contexts and multiple property nomination forms to help guide evaluation and stimulate registration of high priority places
• Identify and register significant publicly-owned historic properties
|» ||Strengthen accuracy, accessibility and security of survey data and its use through managing electronic and other information media|
This objective ensures that we manage the historic resources under DHR's control effectively both for long-term preservation and for active use by public and private decision-makers, researchers, students, property owners, the general public, and any other appropriate customer group. The objective is not only about access to public records but also managing those records to ensure that they are available when needed to inform state and federal transportation projects, projects for tourism development to draw film projects to Virginia communities, and to support state, federal, and local emergency climate change preparations and responses.
• Increase data connectedness to eliminate "data silos" and increase organization efficiency and appropriate management of historic places and the use of that data in tourism, economic development, decision-making, and interpretation to the public
• Refine/expand the capacity of VCRIS, GIS, and other electronic data tools
• Enter legacy data from paper records and older databases into VCRIS
• Conduct training for potential VCRIS users
• Enforce the use of VCRIS by public and private partners to increase accuracy and timeliness of data used in a variety of decision-making processes
• Commit to using VCRIS for data gathering, sharing and analysis
• Utilize VCRIS to share, communicate, and standardize data; update and use data for a variety of planning purposes at all levels in both public and private sectors
• Ensure that public and private databases/GIS systems include information on historic places to meet the needs of that organization
• Commit to protecting security and integrity of sensitive data
|» ||Lead by example--stewardship by both public agencies and private non-profit leaders|
This objective represents the agency's commitment to strengthen the preservation of historic assets that both tell the story of Virginia and bring tourists to Virginia communities. It supports reuse of older buildings and in doing so supports broader priorities such as economic development and use of creative and authentic educational tools.
• Identify, evaluate and register historic properties owned or leased by the agency or organization
• Develop and implement appropriate short and long term management strategies appropriate to each historic asset
• Conduct critical self-examination to determine whether or not the current business model is sufficient to sustain the organization, its programs, and any historic places it owns and to explore appropriate alternatives
• Manage Clermont and the Wilderness Tract in collaboration with private partners to meet preservation and educational objectives
• Use Clermont as a preservation training facility for current and future generations of Virginians
• Manage both electronic and paper records with data on historic properties effectively and in ways that maximize both security and accessibility
• Steward historic easement and tax credit properties as examples of appropriate use and standards
• Educate constituents to be better stewards of historic properties whether or not easements or tax credits are involved
• Provide education regarding public use of historic structures and cultural landscapes to state land management agencies
|• ||Connect with broader constituencies|
In general, people will take better care of the things they know and care about, but all too often it is only when those things or places are already gone or are on the brink of destruction that they realize the importance that those things or places had in their lives. It is, therefore, incumbent on the Department of Historic Resources, as the Commonwealth's historic preservation agency, to provide educational and training materials and opportunities to inform property owners, public agencies, and the general public about the importance of Virginia's irreplaceable historic resources and preservation work for Virginia's communities. This historic resources aspect of environmental education is an essential foundation for the accomplishment of the agency's goals to integrate the preservation of historic resources into public and private activities statewide and the natural outcome of the information and archaeological collections managed as part of the agency's stewardship for records and objects in its care.
Natural Resources: Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
|» ||Redirect and "rebrand" historic preservation to speak to broader as well as younger audiences|
This objective focuses our efforts on both communication and education. There is a new generation of Virginia citizens that need to be reached both in terms of medium and message. Social media is a huge part of the fabric of all of our lives, especially the younger generation, and DHR actively works to educate in unique and creative ways about preservation. We also recognize the need to expand the reach of our message.
• Examine and understand the changing face of Virginia demographics and the potential effect on historic places both statewide and in key regions/communities
• Update the message to be more relevant to a changing Virginia
• Use social media effectively to expand agency/organization reach
• Develop ongoing strategies to include non-traditional stakeholders in historic preservation policy, planning, program development and implementation
|» ||Weave the message of historic preservation values and benefits as well as Virginia's complex social history into broader educational programs at all levels|
The Department of Historic Resources is the steward of a wealth of information about historic resources. This objective is about creating ways to share our knowledge with both the younger generation and the tourism community. Through traditional education and marketing, the importance and value of historic preservation can be shared and used to support economic development in creative ways.
• Integrate an ethic of conservation as early as possible by sharing of resources and materials with educational partners and entities
• Contribute to the DOE teacher curriculum, training, and advisories strategies to use historic places and historical and archaeological research practices to address Standards of Learning
• Engage the historic preservation community and historic attractions in the development and marketing of voluntourism with VTC
• Expand undergraduate and graduate curricular offerings to prepare students with competencies needed for employment in historic preservation and related fields and for civic engagement needed to understand the use and public/community benefits of historic places and to advance the economic and cultural prosperity of the Commonwealth and its regions
• Increase internship and volunteer opportunities to train future preservation professionals and teachers and to stimulate long-term stakeholder awareness
|» ||Reach out to public and private stakeholders to improve awareness of historic preservation values, benefits, programs and tools|
This objective represents the commitment to education and train citizens, public agencies, developers, local officials, teachers, and other stakeholders about historic places and about the tools they can use to make the most of these assets to meet economic and other priorities and to increase citizen access to the stories these places have to tell. It also ensures that we manage the historic resources, primarily archaeological artifact collections and records on historic resources, under DHR control, effectively both for long-term conservation and for active use by public and private decision-makers, researchers, students, property owners, the general public and any other appropriate customer group.
• Provide accurate information and outreach programs to help private property owners understand how to appreciate and steward historic assets in ways that are non-threatening and voluntary
• Increase awareness through collaborative action
• Increase research efforts about, and using, historic places beyond survey
|» ||Include Virginia's geographically and culturally diverse communities as active stakeholders|
This objective focuses on an agency initiative to ensure that its programs are inclusive and that we work with a variety of interest groups to list on the Virginia Landmarks Register, to include in the state system of historical highway markers, and to include in agency educational efforts historic places that tell the story of all groups that have made Virginia what it is today--including but not limited to Native Americans, African Americans, and women. Recognition of the full range of Virginia's historic peoples and places strengthens our communities at large and promotes tourism and economic development using a broader range of stories and places.
• Tell the full range of Virginia's stories
• Use the Highway Marker program strategically for education throughout the state
• Identify and target geographic and cultural/social gaps in the awareness and practice of historic preservation
|• ||Build strong and sustainable statewide and community economies using historic assets|
Protecting historic resources supports broad priorities in economic development, tourism, education, conservation. Historic resources are tangible assets that form the basis for a $22 billion tourism industry and that stimulates billions of dollars into the economy through rehabilitation of older buildings in urban cores creating thousands of jobs as well as homes for families and businesses alike. Historic places provide the authentic experience to educate our children and enhance the quality of life in communities all across the Commonwealth. Reusing historic buildings reduces waste and energy consumption and encourages reuse of urban centers providing homes for families and businesses alike not only providing homes for families and commercial enterprises but also strengthening our efforts to protect and renew the environment. Virginia is blessed with a rich and varied collection of historic resources that give our communities a unique character that draw visitors from around the nation and the world. The Department of Historic Resources programs support a wide range of public and private efforts to make the most of irreplaceable historic resources that can and should benefit Virginia communities for generations to come.
Natural Resources: Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
|» ||Strengthen the use of historic places as assets in support of Virginia's tourism industry|
This objective ensures that we manage the historic resources under DHR's control effectively for the active use of public and private decision-makers, citizens of the Commonwealth and visitors to our state. Also, recognition of the full range of Virginia's historic peoples and places strengthens our communities at large and promotes tourism and economic development.
• Ensure that tourism, education, and training programs at all levels integrate the value of historic places and ways to integrate these assets into the full range of tourism activities
• Increase communication, planning, and coordination among government entities
• Connect history experiences including inter-jurisdictional and regional collaborations
• Leverage historic military assets--from battlefield and related sites to active military installations
|» ||Integrate sustainability and historic preservation practices to ensure that historic assets are used to support a vital and viable future|
This objective speaks to DHR's awareness and acknowledgement of the growing number of sustainable practices in renovation. It shows our commitment to continue to find ways to marry them with the required treatment standards both in regards to the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program and DHR's easement program.
• Support the use of environmentally sustainable practices at historic properties, where such practices are consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and associated guidance
• Educate the public about how environmentally sensitive and sustainable practices can be implemented at historic properties in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, so to preserve and retain significant historic fabric and character
• Increase the integration of historic assets into environmental and land conservation
|» ||Increase availability and use of tools and programs that use historic assets for public and private benefit|
This objective represents the agency's commitment to strengthen the preservation of historic assets that both tell the story of Virginia and bring tourists to Virginia communities as well as supports creative and authentic educational tools and economic development. It also encouragez the historic preservation of significant open spaces to protect important historic assets.
• Leverage the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund to protect battlefield lands from all wars fought on Virginia soil by acquiring lands and easements in partnership with both the public and private sectors
|» ||Reinforce the contribution of historic assets to outdoor recreation|
So much of Virginia's rich history is in the out of doors. This objective highlights the Department of Historic Resources Virginia Landmarks Register Program and its Historical Highway Marker Program, recognizing that these structures are outdoors and either on public property or visible from it making them accessible to everyone. Going for a walk along a trail or through a State Park or down a neighborhood street opens up an array of educational opportunities about Virginia's historic assets.
• Incorporate historic places and attractions in development of the 2018 Virginia Outdoors Plan including questions for demand surveys, inclusion of historic preservation organizations and professionals on advisory committees and public participation as well as recommendations for the effective use and expansion of historic assets as part of a broader outdoor recreation and education package
• Identify, evaluate, register, and manage significant historic places in Virginia's State Parks in accordance with sound preservation standards and principles
• Fully integrate historic aspects along with the environment in developing and interpreting new State Parks including, but not limited to, Natural Bridge State Park
• Take advantage of history and historic places as part of the total educational and recreational package for State Parks including walking trails as well as classroom and outdoor educational activities
• Promote outdoor recreation and tourism through the continued creation and development of heritage areas and heritage trails such as, but not limited to, the Civil War Trail, the Crooked Road, the John Smith Heritage Trail, Fields of Gold, the Road to Revolution, and more
|» ||Strengthen the role of the HRTC program in revitalizing historic residential, commercial, and industrial neighborhoods|
This objective represents the agency's commitment to strengthen the preservation of historic assets that bring businesses to Virginia communities. It supports reuse of older buildings, revitalization of urban cores, and quality of life,and in doing so supports broader priorities such as economic development and a strong business climate.
• Provide expert guidance and training to help private property owners to rehabilitate and reuse historic assets in accordance with state and federal standards
• Provide sound data and analysis on the economic impacts of historic rehabilitation and the state and federal rehab tax credits
• Promote use of historic rehabilitation tax credits
• Educate state and local leaders
|• ||Incorporate historic places and their preservation effectively into planning and policy decision-making|
Evaluating and protecting historic resources supports broad priorities in economic development and conservation. Historic places provide the authentic experience to educate our children and enhance the quality of life in communities all across the Commonwealth. Reusing historic buildings reduces waste and energy consumption and encourages reuse of urban centers providing homes for businesses and commercial enterprises and also strengthening our efforts to protect and renew the environment. Virginia is blessed with a rich and varied collection of historic resources. The Department of Historic Resources programs support a wide range of public efforts to make the most of irreplaceable historic resources that can and should benefit Virginia communities for generations to come.
Government and Citizens: Be recognized as the best-managed state in the nation.
|» ||Increase communication, planning, and coordination among government entities|
This objective focuses our efforts on assisting state and federal agencies in their stewardship and planning regarding historic resources in a timely fashion. State agencies that own or control buildings and lands are encouraged to be better stewards of historic resources under their control. It also ensures that our agency responses are provided within a standard, consistent and reliable time frame. This objective supports not only economic development and educational priorities but it also promotes sound fiscal stewardship of state-owned historic assets.
• Develop and implement programmatic agreement to streamline review processes
• Complete both submissions and reviews in a constructive and timely fashion
• Ensure that all levels address training needs to enable proactive attention to historic places and effective compliance with review processes to balance preservation values with project objectives
• Use a wide range of mitigation strategies including but not limited to survey, registration, documentation, data recovery, interpretation and educational products, alternate site preservation, and mitigation banking when projects cannot avoid damage to historic assets
• Ensure that state agencies "Lead by Example" in their renovation and restoration of sustainable historic sites
• Coordinate major statewide planning efforts to ensure that key agencies and staff are at the table for efforts such as the Virginia Comprehensive Statewide Preservation Plan, the Virginia Outdoors Plan, the Virginia Tourism Plan, statewide transportation planning, disaster and hazard mitigation planning, and similar efforts
|» ||Strengthen local planning and decision-making tools|
This objective represents DHR's commitment to continue to reach out to local officials to educate them and other stakeholders about historic places, buildings, sites, objects and districts, within their communities and about the tools they can use to make the most of these assets to meet their economic and other priorities.
• Develop a local process to identify and evaluate what the community and the public feel are important to recognize and preserve
• Develop and use historic place layers in local GIS and other planning tools
• Utilize VCRIS to share, communicate, and standardize data; update and use data for a variety of planning purposes at all levels in both public and private sectors
• Develop innovative solutions such as resident curator programs to help maintain and restore historic properties owned by local agencies
• Understand and fulfill preservation and review responsibilities delegated by federal and state agencies to local agencies
|• ||Sharpen tools for historic preservation|
Identifying and protecting historic resources supports broad priorities in tourism, education, conservation, response to climate change and emergency preparedness. Historic places provide the authentic experience to educate our children and enhance the quality of life in communities all across the Commonwealth. Virginia is blessed with a rich and varied collection of historic resources ranging from archaeological sites that tell the story of Native American's living here over 16,000 year ago to the settlement of Jamestown, frontier expansion and the struggle to create a new nation, and the industrial revolution and Civil War that give our communities a unique character that draw visitors from around the nation and the world. The Department of Historic Resources programs support a wide range of public and private efforts to make the most of irreplaceable historic resources that can and should benefit Virginia communities for generations to come.
Natural Resources: Protect, conserve and wisely develop our natural, historical and cultural resources.
|» ||Fortify state and local programs and incentives|
This objective speaks specifically to DHR's efforts to provide decision-makers at both the local and state levels with current data proving the importance of the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program to Virginia's economic development, in addition to supporting our sister agencies and partners in promoting the land conservation credit program. Efforts are also being made to expand partnerships in this area as well.
• Educate state and local decision-makers to ensure that state rehabilitation tax credits and land conservation credit programs remain strong and effective
• Ensure that sensitive reuse of older buildings plays a greater role in creating affordable housing
|» ||Address gaps in preservation of threatened property types through legislative, programmatic, and educational measures|
This objective represents the agency's commitment to strengthen the preservation of historic assets that tell the story of Virginia and ensures the protection of significant archaeological resources. It supports a broader priority of a government that is responsive to community needs and emergency.
• Focus attention on threatened property types such as aging school buildings, archaeological sites, slave cemeteries, old family cemeteries, tobacco barns and abandoned agricultural buildings, cultural landscapes, rural villages, and places associated with civil rights, LGBTQ, African American, Native American and women's history
• Seek out and administer state, federal, and private grants/funding to address threatened and endangered historic places
|» ||Improve training for preservation craftsmen and stakeholders|
This objective represents the commitment to educate and train citizens, public agencies, developers, local officials, students, teachers and other stakeholders about historic places, preservation practices and archaeology and about the tools they can use to make the most of these assets.
• Provide targeted training workshops for preservation and museum professionals and craftsmen
• Provide field schools and workshops for both career and avocational archaeologists
• Develop and increase use of internship programs in colleges and universities and internship opportunities with both the public and private sector
• Incorporate historic preservation and interpretation topics into staff training for appropriate state and federal agencies as well as statewide and regional organizations
|» ||Expand networks and collaboration to meet common objectives|
This objective focuses on inclusivity and ensuring that we work with a variety of interest groups to elicit feedback from preservation stakeholders and communities at large in order leverage preservation to most effectively promote economic development. It also speaks to DHR's efforts to increase its social media presence through Facebook and reach young and broader audiences.
• Coordinate ongoing public participation such as periodic meetings of the statewide comprehensive plan steering committee
• Conduct statewide/regional planning workshops/preservation forums
• Conduct targeted surveys on historic preservation issues/audiences
• Use social media and other alternatives to gather opinions on an on-going basis
• Increase communication, planning, and coordination among government entities
• Increase communication, planning, and coordination among government, local and private entities
• Link related programs and services on websites and to cross-post related messages through social media and other means as appropriate
Agency products and services are a closely interwoven and inter-dependent set of tools used to identify, evaluate, protect and recognize historic resources. Other programs guide and support a wide variety of stakeholders as they ensure that Virginia's rich history continues to play a role in building an economically and environmentally strong future for the Commonwealth, its citizens, and its communities. The agency’s mission-critical services include:
· Surveys to identify and share information on a growing inventory of more than 225,000 historic buildings, sites, districts, objects and structures
· State and National registers of historic places, the Historical Highway Markers Program which recognize historic places and educate the public about their significance.
· An archive available to the public for purposes of research, and an online cultural resource inventory providing mapping and geographic information about individual properties, sites, and historic districts, and evaluative information about their significance.
· Review of proposed historic rehabilitation projects and technical assistance to property owners to ensure the work conducted meets the program requirements in order to qualify for tax credits. Potential changes to the state and federal tax credit programs may impact the volume of new tax credit applications; staffing changes within the National Park Service office that administers the federal program may also affect how applications are processed. DHR’s aging IT infrastructure may significantly affect the ability to collect, analyze, and distribute data on the program and projects; accessibility and accuracy of this data is critical to providing the Executive Branch agencies, General Assembly, and public with information on the program.
· Protection of historically significant properties (including buildings, structures, archaeological sites, battlefields, and cultural landscapes) through perpetual historic preservation and conservation easements, and partnership with owners in the stewardship of such properties to ensure compliance with easement and appropriate treatment of historic resources. If state and/or federal grant funding increases, DHR would be challenged to meet higher demand for new easements that are required as a condition of the grant with current staffing levels. DHR’s ability to execute new easements would also be impacted if staffing levels at the Office of the Attorney General are reduced. So too, DHR’s stewardship and monitoring responsibilities increases as the portfolio of protected properties expands each year.
· Environmental review of major state and federally funded, permitted, or licensed projects that may affect significant historic resources. The Federal administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan may result in an exponential increase in the number of projects reviewed by DHR as proposed projects spawn further development. Highly controversial public utility projects, including gas pipelines and electric transmission lines, dramatically expand the demands on review staff. Such projects significantly increase the volume of cultural resource studies that must be professionally reviewed, generate high public interest resulting in a rise of general inquiries and information requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and require DHR to take a leadership role in complex mitigation plans developed to address historic resource impacts. Rising costs and imminent termination of support for DHR’s digital project review system, ePIX, threaten the viability of this critical application, as detailed in the Information Technology section below.
· Technical assistance to localities in the review of projects subject to local ordinances and other projects that may affect significant historic resources.
· Grants to preserve historically significant battlefield lands and the graves of Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers and those of certain African Americans. If the current 1 million dollars allocated by the General Assembly to the Virginia Battlefields Preservation Fund (VBPF) continues at level funding or increases, more applicants for funding from various organizations devoted to battlefield preservation will increase and more preservation easements will be required, impacting DHR’s Easement Program staff and the DHR’s management of the VBPF. Funding for maintenance of Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers’ graves as well as new funding for African American cemeteries may also be expected to increase, affecting current staff workloads to manage those programs.
· A federally mandated program to certify and provide grants to local government preservation programs. Each year the federal government provides DHR with funding for preservation, development, and planning projects to be awarded competitively to Virginia’s 35 Certified Local Governments (CLGs). Qualified local governments continue to apply for CLG status each year and, if successful, will expect to compete for CLG funding that may deplete the CLG funding sooner and result in fewer projects awarded statewide.
· Archaeological field research to document sites, especially those that are threatened with destruction, and to bring the lessons learned from those sites to the public through research reports, public lectures, exhibits, partnerships, and through diligent management and stewardship of the state’s collection of several million artifacts.
· Emergency response guidance and assistance to property owners, localities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management when historic places are impacted.
· Education and technical assistance to help public and private property owners understand and preserve historic places in a 21st century world.
As the State Historic Preservation Office for the Commonwealth, this agency serves as the primary coordinating agency for historic preservation in Virginia. DHR administers a complex menu of interrelated state and federal programs managed by a highly qualified staff that must meet prescribed professional qualifications.
Evaluating and documenting the historical significance of resources is paramount for ensuring the protections mandated for their preservation by state and federal law. It is also essential for determining eligibility for access to state and federal grants and other financial incentives designed to benefit preservation and economic development. Prior to making such determinations, historic properties must be surveyed and data must be reviewed, inventoried and stewarded so that management decisions can be made relative to them. In this regard the Agency has invested in the development, maintenance and enhancement of a data inventory system known as the Virginia Cultural Resource Information System (VCRIS), which is widely acknowledged as one of the most advanced in the nation. VCRIS serves an audience primarily composed of private sector cultural resource management professionals who are contracted by federal, state and private sector entities to assess impacts to them from construction and other forms of economic development activity and ensure that mitigation balanced in the best interest of the public, the economy and historic resources takes place. Similarly, the Agency invests in professional staff who employ established criteria in order to make evaluations of historic significance about properties as part of that process. During state fiscal year 2016, the Agency added records for 6,210 historic properties to VCRIS, evaluated 3,947 properties for eligibility for listing in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, and ultimately listed 43 historic properties in them – a process that typically takes nine months or more to achieve. At present, VCRIS contains records on 242,598 historic resources.
The Agency also administers, in partnership with VDOT, the Historical Highway Markers program. As the nation’s first program of its type, which will be 90 years old in 2017, DHR is committed to maintaining the iconic role the program has played in presenting Virginia’s history to travelers along the Commonwealth’s byways. To-date, more than 2,600 markers have been place on Virginia’s roads. The challenge is to maintain them, place them in safe locations, and as new information is known, update them so that they remain relevant to current and future generations. DHR’s portion of the program is managed by a single FTE who has very specific expertise in Virginia history, with volunteer assistance from an editorial committee composed of experts in Virginia history and the Board of Historic Resources which ultimately approves marker topics for addition to the program. In order to make the rich content of the program applicable to students of all ages, as well as to tourists, DHR has utilized markers to develop itineraries (in print form) that complement the education, tourism and economic development goals of other State agencies. The next opportunity is to adapt the markers’ content to a digital delivery format, which will increase access to the program content. Funding to develop a pilot program has been obtained by the Agency and is currently in development. Investment in the program is reliant upon private sponsorship of new markers which covers the cost to have them produced. The commonwealth has not directly funded the program since the 1970s, however VDOT has recently been able to fund a program to methodically review the existing condition of markers so that DHR can make recommendations to the Board of Historic Resources about retiring or replacing damaged or deficient markers. Replacement, when it occurs, requires that marker texts be re-evaluated for accuracy and updated to incorporate the results of new scholarship.
Just as historic places provide the foundation for Virginia's $21.5 billion tourism industry and the nearly $4 million film industry, adaptive reuse of historic buildings using rehabilitation tax incentives has proven to be the single most effective tool in successful urban revitalization. A 2014 report on the economic benefits of historic preservation by Virginia Commonwealth University documents the long-term economic impact and performance of one of the Department of Historic Resources’ most critical program services—technical assistance and certification of private historic rehabilitation projects that qualify for state and/or federal tax credits. As noted in a press release from Preservation Virginia, “During the 17-year period [covered by the study], nearly $1 billion in tax credits leveraged almost $3 billion in private investment, resulting in the rehabilitation of 2,375 buildings—ranging from warehouses, hotels, theaters and even part of a prison complex to private residences. Expenses of $3.97 billion for these rehabilitation projects serves as a catalyst on sectors of the economy to stimulate an additional estimated $3.9 billion in activity, adding to the state’s overall economic well being, according to the study”—producing reliable investments even through the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Annual performance for the Department of Historic Resources is summarized in the bullets and table below. As of January 2017, those figures had grown to more than $4.6 billion in private investment.
Highlighted outcomes of other agency programs and services include:
· During state fiscal year 2016, DHR worked with developers to bring 179 rehabilitation projects to successful completion for a total of $358 million in private investment.
· DHR archives served 4,861 researchers either on site or through its research services.
· Sponsored or cosponsored training and educational activities reached 18,409 adults and students through workshops, field schools, lectures, and other educational activities ranging from Archaeological Resource Kits used in school classrooms to major conferences and training in cemetery preservation and state and federal review processes.
· Exhibits using Department archaeological artifacts around the state reached an audience totaling approximately 635,483 people of all ages.
· In fiscal year 2016, eight properties were protected by historic preservation easements, bringing the total number of properties protected to 600; staff visited more than 30% of the total easement properties to ensure compliance with existing easements.
· The review of state and Federal projects is a major part of DHR’s mandated role as the State Historic Preservation Office. During state fiscal year 2016, DHR responded to 4,456 review requests, which represents an approximately 7% increase over the two previous fiscal years, yet maintained a response rate of 95% within the mandated 30 days. DHR recently filed the 2017 Biennial Report on the State Stewardship of Historic Properties which identifies preservation priorities for state-owned resources and highlights preservation successes reached through public-private partnerships. The Biennial Report also features a section of sea-level rise and the imminent threat to state-owned historic properties. DHR continues to collaborate with state agencies to develop preservation measures for historic properties under state control.
|Authorized Maximum Employment Level (MEL)|| ||45|
|Wage Employees|| ||6|
|Contracted Employees|| ||11|
1. Changing Demographic Pressures on Historic Resources: There are several population and related trends that strongly impact historic assets in communities throughout Virginia.
A. A movement out of suburbs and back into city cores provides both an opportunity to rehabilitate urban residential neighborhoods and adaptively reuse older commercial and industrial buildings (as has been done with great success in Richmond, Roanoke and Arlington for example), but can also pose threat if less visionary development leads to large-scale demolition of historic assets.
B. Growing transportation and energy needs put pressure on historic communities, landscapes, battlefields, and archaeological sites with new roads, widening of existing roads, and the construction of major power lines to support a growing digital economy. Such large projects often need detailed studies and must balance competing social and economic priorities. Impacts to historic resources are best considered early in the planning process to avoid or minimize unexpected consequences and potentially damaging conflict.
C. Deterioration of rural and agricultural resources when people and industry move away from communities (particularly in Southside and Southwest Virginia) can be nearly as damaging to historic places as rapid development—including the trend of clearing land for industrial parks in the hopes that someone will come to the region to use those cleared areas in the future.
2. Climate Change/Rising Sea Level/Catastrophic Storm Surges: From prehistoric and colonial archaeological sites to Historic Jamestowne, Tangier Island, and Fort Monroe, virtually all historic resources in Virginia’s Atlantic and Chesapeake coastal areas are extremely vulnerable to changing weather patterns and rising waters. Regardless of the causes, increased flooding, changing shorelines, and potential loss of historic fabric in hundreds of coastal communities are realities that need careful and meaningful study, preparation and response. Based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and DHR’s Archives, the overall number of state-owned historic resources that are threatened from sea-level rise is 547, including 237 archaeological resources and 310 architectural resources of which 24 are currently listed in the VLR. Recent surveys of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic shorelines have indicated devastating losses and continued threats to both archaeological and architectural historic resources. With a knowledge of known sites coupled a threat analysis, a comprehensive action plan needs to be developed to recover data before it is lost forever.
3. Revenues: The future of federal funds is unclear and has been flat at best for more than a decade. Special fund revenues have been steadily declining across the board.
4. IT Costs and Demands: While the agency’s greatest IT risk was once the rising cost of basic services, the larger issues are now the need to expand the agency IT portfolio and the ongoing costs of electronic storage space. Having completed overhauling the agency’s online historic resources inventory (VCRIS) and developing the nation’s first on-line project review/data-sharing system (ePIX), the agency needs both to maintain and continue to enhance these systems amid rising costs. Further, new systems need to be developed to integrate related program records and management. Paper records on more than 600 easements, hundreds of rehabilitation projects, and thousands of publically-funded or licensed projects, and over 242,000 historic places need to be digitized. As DHR’s digital data store increases, so does the ongoing cost of storage.
5. Workforce Capacity and Continuity: Primary factors affecting the work force are the high volume of demand and complexity of the work, the changing nature of historic preservation services, and the market competition from other agencies and the private sector. In addition, 19% of the agency staff are eligible for retirement beginning in this biennium and into the next.
General Information About Ongoing Status of Agency
DHR will continue to conduct studies and projects that support both preparedness for and responses to rising sea level and extreme weather conditions associated with ongoing climate change. In addition, in response to Executive Order 64, staff will continue to encourage good stewardship of state-owned historic resources DHR is directly by law (10.1-2202.3) to prepare a biennial report on the stewardship of state-owned property that identifies significant resources that are eligible for listing on the VLR, but are not yet listed landmarks. The 2017 Biennial Report on the State Stewardship of Historic Properties presents such a list and quantifies the threat to state-owned historic properties from sea-level rise. Recently-issued Executive Order 64 encourages state agencies, authorities, departments, and institutions of higher learning to pursue listing on the VLR historically significant properties they own or control, especially those related to the history of African Americans, Virginia Indians, and women, to utilize DHR’s state highway marker program to educate the public about Virginia’s rich history, and to prepare preservation plans to guide stewardship of historic properties under their control. Review staff will continue to work with state officials to meet these goals amid increased demands placed upon them by the review of ongoing large, complex infrastructure projects in order to help state agencies become better stewards of lands and buildings. DHR will also continue to ensure inclusiveness in relevant programs to make them both accessible to and representative of the full range of stakeholders and cultural and ethnic influences in Virginia history. Lastly, through our partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation, DHR will continue to work to utilize technology to enhance the accessibility of information in VCRIS, Virginia’s Cultural Resource Information System.
Major IT investments underway include:
- Development of an easement database to track and analyze property information from throughout the life of the easement, with special application for use in the field to record present condition of properties.
- Implementation of the next level of enhancements to VCRIS that will improve the service it provides to the customer base, and in particular VDOT, which is a major partner in the development and use of the cultural resource information system.
- DHR’s Electronic Project Information Exchange, ePIX, which streamlines the submission and review of state and Federal project, went live in December 2010 and has been featured at national preservation conferences as a first-of-its-kind system. Development of ePIX was a collaboration between DHR and VITA’s Commonwealth Enterprise Solutions Center and utilized, in partnership with Microsoft, their Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. VITA CESC encouraged DHR’s use of Dynamics CRM to test its potential for digitizing state services. Ongoing operations and maintenance cost of ePIX has been stable at around $23,000/year not including the cost of necessary software upgrades and licenses. DHR has been informed that VITA CESC is nearly tripling the cost of its support of Dynamics CRM in 2017 to $76,000/year before ending it support in 2019. The increase in cost and the termination of support severely threatens the viability of this critical system. Meetings with other state agencies faced with the loss of CRM-based applications have identified possible solutions that would utilize non-COV software hosts, but these solutions would require software upgrades and additional hosting fees which would increase the overall cost of ePIX.
- Information Technology Plans/Needs: Development of a tax credit database is critical to DHR’s ability to record, analyze, and provide information and statistics on tax credit projects and the program as a whole.
Estimate of Technology Funding Needs
The DHR workforce is faced with the need to service programs that continue to grow in both numbers and complexity without a mirrored increase in staff or funding. There is an increasing demand for legal expertise in order to minimize the risk specifically in the Easement program, a high-impact and high-profile program area. As another example, the demand for staff with experienced subject matter expertise has already begun to increase in the federally mandated Review and Compliance Division; the amount of 30-day reviews that require processing is on an increasingly upward trend with impending projects such as the Dominion Surry-to-Skiffes Creek Transmission Line Project and the two underground gas pipeline projects. The trends toward retirements, growing program/legal complexity, and the need for experienced and federally mandated skill sets are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
In order to address some of these challenges, DHR has reorganized to minimize the effects of staff reductions and retirements over the years and redefined positions to address the growing need for certain skills. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to retain and attract qualified staff because our salaries have not kept pace even within the Commonwealth let alone the private and national sector.
The Department of Historic Resources currently has 3 leases throughout the Commonwealth in support of its mission. The total annual lease amount paid in FY 16 was $331, 577.62. The overwhelming majority of annual lease fees pay for headquarters office space in Richmond which houses 35 of our 42 FTEs. Other leases include those of our Northern and Western regional offices at Stephens City and Salem which house collectively 6 FTEs. Management of these leased spaces is a collective effort between DHR and the Department of Real Estate Services (DRES). Besides the day-to-day management of the leased space, DHR has no major physical plant projects planned. However, in order to improve efficiencies in business functions, the agency did close its Petersburg location in 2016 which housed its fiscal staff and moved those employees to its headquarters in Richmond. In order to do that, slight reconfiguring of the office space was done. Although this was the best business decision for the agency, space is now at a premium. Without funding to transition from paper to digital records, the Richmond headquarters will run out of space for records storage.
Space also continues to be a concern for DHR’s ever growing and valuable archaeological artifact collection which consists of over 7 million artifacts. The current curation facility has finite space with the accumulative effect of accepting valuable prehistoric and historic collections over the years, challenging the space available. Old collections continue to retain research value and new collections have grown in number due to both donations of large significant collections and normal CRM related activities.
DHR, with the assistance of DRES, is currently in the midst of renegotiating its lease with the Virginia Historical Society for another ten years, at which point it is anticipated that the agency may need to explore other options for more space given the issues described above.