Governor Timothy M. Kaine Thursday highlighted Virginia’s ranking as first among the 50 states and U.S. territories for the number of historic districts added to the National Register of Historic Places during federal fiscal year 2007. It is the third consecutive year in which Virginia has achieved top ranking for districts listed.
“The Commonwealth’s ranking highlights the power of historic preservation as an economic and community revitalization tool,” says Kaine. “Listing of historic districts and properties on the state and National Registers promotes both community pride and rehabilitation.”
In 2007, Virginia added 30 districts and 66 individual properties to the thousands of already listed properties on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register. These additions cover historic districts in Cumberland, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Tazewell counties, and the city of Martinsville, among other jurisdictions.
The Commonwealth ranked third in the nation in 2007 for the combined number of historic districts and individual properties listed on the National Register with more than 2,400 resources listed. The register program is managed in Virginia by the Department of Historic Resources, in partnership with property owners and local communities.
“Virginia’s property owners and communities are leading the nation in seeking formal recognition of our historic neighborhoods, and putting Virginia’s history to work,” says Kathleen S. Kilpatrick, director of the DHR, which is charged with managing the state and national registers, and tax credit programs.
Virginia has ranked among the top states in listing historic properties for five consecutive years.
Kilpatrick says, “In 2005 we were number one with 28 historic districts, in 2006 we were number one with 29, and in 2007 we were number one with 30.”
An economic study by Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Public Policy, released last month by the DHR, found that Virginia’s state rehabilitation tax credit program created nearly $1.6 billion in economic impact in the Commonwealth and supported just under 11,000 jobs since 1997 when the state program began.
A National Register listing allows property owners to pursue federal rehabilitation tax credits to restore older buildings for income-producing uses. When paired with state rehabilitation tax credits, which can be more broadly applied to non-income producing properties, property owners may be eligible to receive a 45 percent return on eligible expenses for the one-time cost of rehabilitating a historic property. Many of the recent properties listed individually or as contributing to a historic district are making use of tax credit incentives to create residences, assisted living facilities, and commercial and retail spaces.
To learn more about historic districts and location in the state, visit the DHR at the link below.