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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: January 31, 2020

Survey work begins for proposed historic district

Schoolfield will be getting more foot traffic in the neighborhood over the next coming months. This February through the summer, historic surveyors will be photographing and documenting buildings within the former Dan River Mills village, which has recently been deemed eligible as a state and nationally recognized historic district.

Last December, Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources determined that the Schoolfield Historic District is eligible for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. This is purely an honorary designation that places no restrictions on property owners beyond current local zoning. The designation will help to promote awareness and appreciation of the neighborhood and its history.

The history of Schoolfield is tied to Dan River Mills, which founded the village for its textile workers in 1903. Until 1951 when the City of Danville annexed the Schoolfield, Dan River owned and controlled the village. Schoolfield includes 840 homes, churches, an industrial site, executive offices, a commercial area as well as two previously listed properties, the former Welfare Building (https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/108-5065-0083/) and the Schoolfield School Complex (https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/historic-registers/108-5065-0081/)

The Danville Office of Economic Development and the Industrial Development Authority of Danville, VA have hired Storied Capital, Hill Studio, and Burton Consulting to complete a building-by-building survey of these areas, which is the first step in pursuing the National Register listing. The field survey involves documenting the exterior of the buildings with photographs and field notes. This documentation will take place from the public sidewalks and alleyways. Interior access to houses is not necessary. Field documentation will take place over the winter and spring of 2020.

When complete, all survey information will be available to the public at the City offices and at the archives of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. If residents have questions about the survey or historic information related to properties within the district, they may contact Renee Burton, burtotr@danvilleva.gov

Properties that are considered contributing to the district will be eligible for the state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credit programs. These tax credits assist with redevelopment costs of historic buildings. More information on the Historic Registers and the Tax Incentives is available on the Virginia Department of Historic Resources website at www.dhr.virginia.gov.

To learn more about this survey process, the public is welcome to attend a community meeting on February 7th from 5:30 pm until 7 pm at 917 West Main Street, the historic Welfare Building in Schoolfield. The meeting will begin with refreshments, followed by an overview presentation about the survey at 6 pm and public Q&A. Registration is not required, but RSVPs are welcome. If you plan to attend, please email ina@storiedcapital.org.

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