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Historic designation in the works

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

A Pulaski project successfully competed for funds to determine whether 61 properties on the west side of town meet requirements for inclusion in state and national historic registers.

Caitlin Sylvester, grant project coordinator for Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR), said receiving funding for a survey of the proposed historic district is just the first step in finding out whether the property in question meets requirements to be placed on Virginia Landmarks Register (VLR) and National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

A date has not yet been set, but a meeting will be held at a future date to receive public comment on the proposed project, she said.

Under the project, a “reconnaissance-level architectural survey” will be conducted of 15 representative resources located within the 61-property area. The selected property is historically identified as a primary African American community.

Sylvester said the area for the proposed survey includes the neighborhood adjacent to the west side of the downtown area, surrounding Calfee Training School. Boundaries include West Main Street (starting to the west of Jefferson Avenue) and turning into Magnox Drive (now named Harmon-Corbin Drive) and then Magazine Street. The survey area includes resources along a one-block perimeter of that main road, as well as parcels along Altoona Road, Johnson Street, Beaupel Place, Randolph Avenue and Mt. Olivet Road.

She says the boundary is subject to change based on further research and comments from community members.

The survey will result in a Preliminary Information Form (PIF), which provides baseline information for evaluating a historic resource’s eligibility for registry listings. Virginia State Review Board will evaluate the PIF to determination whether the district is eligible for the inclusion on the registers.

Pulaski’s project is among nine funded through National Park Service’s (NPS) Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) disaster assistance program for Hurricane’s Michael and Florence, both of which came ashore in fall 2018.

DHR received $4.7 million from NPS to provide recovery assistance to resources damaged by the hurricanes that are listed or are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

DHR says the nine projects were selected on a competitive basis. DHR will fully fund the projects and provide necessary administrative services. The agency anticipates all of the projects will lead to new and/or updated information being recorded for more than 1,400 historic and cultural resources in Virginia.

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