HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANTS TO BE AWARDED BY LOUDOUN PRESERVATION SOCIETY SEPTEMBER 21st.
Six 2023 historic preservation grants will be awarded on September 21st at the Annual Loudoun Preservation Society Grant Awards working in partnership with the County of Loudoun and the Towns of Leesburg, Middleburg, and Purcellville to celebrate Historic Preservation Week. The evening event will be held at Sylvanside Farm south of Purcellville.
Loudoun County is rich in its historic landscape preserved through the determined efforts of individuals, local non-profits, and local governments beginning in the late 1930s. These preservation efforts are ongoing, despite the massive suburbanization of large parts of the county particularly in the east. To assist in these efforts to preserve a county with so many gems and so much history, since 1973 the Loudoun Preservation Society (LPS) has awarded grants to 501(c)3 non-profit and governmental organizations to promote the historic preservation and appreciation of Loudoun’s built historic landscape. The Loudoun Preservation Society is a citizen non-profit that raises the money through the graciousness of its members and donors interested in encouraging hands-on preservation projects in the county. The grants are meant to be “pump-priming” grants, typically in the $500-5,000 range, designed to help stimulate community interest in funding a preservation project while publicizing the effort so that the public is aware of the types of historic preservation activities going on in their county. The LPS grants have helped to promote dozens of historic preservation, rehabilitation, research, and education projects for local organizations, local government agencies, historic properties, and history museums in recent years. Those receiving grants this year are undertaking a wide array of preservation projects:
The Friends of Grace Multicultural Center will receive a grant for west wall basement window restoration, part of a continuing multi-year effort to restore this 1885 former Methodist church built by slave and freedmen after the Civil War.
The Loudoun Clerk of the Circuit Court Historic Records Division will receive a grant for further digitization of court records, this round to antebellum slave patroller records to make them more accessible.
The Hamilton-Thompson Masonic Lodge #37, Virginia AF & AM (at left) will receive a grant to work on the building envelope to further preserve the structure The well know 1910 landmark on the main street of Purcellville was originally an Episcopal Church until 1966, briefly a Presbyterian church, and ultimately, since the 1970s, a masonic lodge. Its unique main street architecture has been described as Norwegian Gothic.
The Hillsboro Preservation Foundation will receive a grant to assist in celebrating the historic farms of western Loudoun that continue to keep their land in active agricultural use or have put the land in to conservation easement through handsome new signage visible from our rural roads. While the goal ultimately will be for 30 markers, the grant will help begin a phased approach, beginning with markers about the historic town of Hillsboro.
The Metropolitan Lodge No. 161, Virginia Free & Accepted Masons in Leesburg, shown at left, will receive a grant to help replace eight currently plywood board-covered windows (painted white) with historically appropriate ones. This 1866-67 historic building on Liberty Street in Leesburg was one of the first churches in Loudoun built by freedmen after the Civil War—Zion Baptist. It was used until the early 1950s when, replaced by a newer church on West Loudoun Street. It then became an African-American masonic hall as it still is today.
The Willisville Preservation Foundation will receive a grant to help prepare a printed history of the historic village of Willisville, building on the work from their National Register Nomination. Willisville was one of the earliest post-Civil War freedmen’s villages in Loudoun.
The Loudoun Preservation Society is pleased with the range of preservation projects proposed and the interest shown in their Pump Priming Preservation Grants program, which shows a continuing interest in historic preservation in historic Loudoun.
The 6:30 p.m. September 21st Preservation Grant Awards program will be open to the public. Reservations can be obtained by dropping a request to email@example.com.