Alexandria neighborhood makes Virginia group’s list of ‘most endangered historic places’

Alexandria’s Town of Potomac Historic District has made Preservation Virginia’s newly released “Most Endangered Historic Places List.”

The Town of Potomac Historic District, which includes the popular Del Ray neighborhood, is losing historic, mid-sized houses as newer residents and developers build outsized and out-of-character ones, according to the historic preservation group.

Preservation Virginia’s solution to preserving the area’s historic charm: setting up a local overlay district with guidelines and review by an architectural review board, “such as in Old Town Alexandria and the Parker-Gray Historic District.”

Preservation Virginia’s 2023 list of “Most Endangered Historic Places,” includes eight other “individual locations and two thematic listings from across the Commonwealth.” They are:

  • African American Watermen Sites of the Chesapeake Bay: The rural, coastal locations of most watermen communities make them increasingly vulnerable to redevelopment and recurrent flooding.
  • Chapman/Beverley Mill, Prince William County: This 18th-19th century gristmill was heavily damaged in 1998 by arson. The “Turn the Mill Around Campaign” began the steps necessary to stabilize the mill but more support is needed.
  • Dwellings of the Enslaved: Dwellings of the enslaved embody the history of slavery and its legacies of racism, suffering and oppression. Once widespread, few examples survive today due to deferred maintenance, insensitive development and lack of funding.
  • Last Headquarters of the Virginia Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, Hampton: Preservation of this ca. 1925 building has begun but more support is needed.
  • Willa Cather Birthplace, Frederick County: Famed American fiction writer and Pulitzer Prize-winner Willa Cather was born in an early 19th-century log and frame house. The house, which was recently sold, is in poor condition and needs immediate stabilization.
  • Historic High Schools in Virginia Cities including Maury High School in Norfolk, the Moore Street School in Richmond, Thirteen Acres School in Richmond, and the Peabody-Williams School in Petersburg: The four schools listed this year face challenges mainly due to deferred maintenance.
  • Bristoe Station Battlefield: The Bristoe Station Battlefield Park in western Prince William County is facing new threats from a massive warehouse development proposal.

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Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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