Resources For Your Historic Richmond House
By nature of owning a historic structure, which is what we consider to be a building with an age of 50 years or more, an individual assumes the role of preservationist.
HRF is proud of the many homeowners in the Richmond Region who actively choose to maintain a historic residence. An accurate and thorough understanding of the history of ones house can help a homeowner as they pilot restoration projects; make a request to the Commission of Architectural Review; and navigate decisions regarding minor repair projects.
Below are listed a few of the locations where an individual may find more information regarding his or her historic structure.
The City of Richmond Courthouse
An individual can conduct deed research at the Clerk’s Office of the Circuit Court to determine property ownership. If plats are available for a specific structure, they would be available with the deed.
The City of Richmond Commission of Architectural Review (CAR)www.richmondgov.com/CommissionArchitecturalReview/index.aspx
CAR was established in 1957. It is the City’s official historic preservation body and is charged with reviewing all exterior changes to structures within the City’s Old and Historic Districts, as well as issuing Certificates of Appropriateness for those projects that it deems to be appropriate. The CAR holds monthly meetings in the 5th Floor Conference room of City Hall on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact the City of Richmond Historic Preservation Division in Room 510 of City Hall. 804.646.6335. Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR)www.dhr.virginia.gov
Located at the corner of the Boulevard and Kensington Avenue, the DHR is the state entity that facilitates Virginia’s publicly held easements, historic tax credits, as well as State Landmark and National Register of Historic Places. The head of the DHR is referred to as the State Historic Preservation Officer, or the SHPO (pronounced Ship-O).
The DHR manages a large archive containing information regarding Virginia’s historic architectural and archeological resources. Information on any property listed individually or as a district on the National Register will be located here. Often, these files contain newspaper clippings and important correspondence regarding resources.
Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners.
Virginia Preservation Toolkit
Sustainable Conservation: Maintaining our Cultural Resourceshttp://www.tusculum.sbc.edu/toolkit/how-to-preserve.shtml/
Preserving and taking care of what we have literally begins at home. This website-with a special emphasis on Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region-provides the homeowner the tools he or she needs to: weatherize a historic house in a way that is sensitive to its inherent "green" qualities and older materials; renovate a historic home while saving money on energy costs; and, apply for Federal and Virginia (state) rehabilitation tax credits. This website also provides information and tools for those interested in: empowering themselves and others to preserve the built environment for future generations, and learning about the inherently "green" aspects of historic preservation as a sustainable environmental practice. * taken from website
The Valentine Richmond History Centerwww.richmondhistorycenter.com
Paying homage to all things Richmond, the Richmond History Center contains a wonderful archive of historic Richmond photographs, facts and architectural drawings. It is here where the famous Mary Wingfield Scott “Card Collection” of historic structures are held. The Cook Collection of Civil War photographs are also held at the Valentine.
Virginia Historical Societywww.vahistorical.org
The Historical Society is a resource for literature and photography regarding the earliest individuals and structures within the Commonwealth. The archive contains many autobiographical accounts of the people and places who left their legacy on today’s built environment.
The Library of Virginiawww.lva.virginia.gov
For individuals seeking information regarding annual real estate assessments, building permits, city directories and insurance policies, all of these documents are accessible at the Library of Virginia.
Sanborne Maps, which reflect fire insurance policies, are also found at the Library and are an effective way of estimating the original footprint of a building. These maps may also confirm historic land patterns as well as suggest periods of growth or alteration.
As one of Richmond’s oldest operating photography studios, the Dementi archive contains over one million historic Richmond photographs. Many of these photographs may give an individual an idea of how a building previously appeared.
Virginia Commonwealth Universitywww.library.vcu.edu
A quite extensive archive, the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell Library contains oral histories, historic Richmond postcards, thesis statements and other objects and documents that may give an individual a glimpse into the past.