Many Civil War Battlefields Are Threatened By Development
Photo: Buddy Secor’s photo of the Pelham cannon in Spotsylvania won second place in the “preservation threats’ category
The United States government has identified 384 battles that had a significant impact on the larger war. Many of these battlefields have been developed—turned into shopping malls, pizza parlors, housing developments, etc.—and many more are threatened by development. Since the end of the Civil War, veterans and other citizens have struggled to preserve the fields on which Americans fought and died. The Civil War Trust and its partners have preserved more than 36,000 acres of battlefield land.
"Nothing creates an emotional connection between present and past like walking in the footsteps of our Civil War soldiers," -Civil War author Jeff Shaara
~What if one day we can no longer walk there?
PRESERVATION VIRGINIA ANNOUNCES 2014 MOST ENDANGERED SITES LIST
Virginia’s Civil War Battlefields
(Bristoe Station Battlefield and Williamsburg Battlefield)
Threat: Both battlefield sites are threatened by encroaching development, both immediate and longer term.
Southside Roller Mill, Chase City
Threat: The Southside Roller Mill’s private owner struggles to maintain and shield the structure from the ravages of time and weather, but, as in many rural towns, funds are generally insufficient for feasibility planning and rehabilitating the structure for a new community use.
Virginia’s “Sidestepped” Towns: Columbia and Pamplin City
Threat: The towns of Columbia and Pamplin City are similar in that their historic periods of greatest prosperity are behind them, as a result of evolving patterns of circulation and modes of transportation, but their immediate threats and opportunities for renewed success are divergent.
James River Viewshed
Threat: A proposed Dominion Virginia Power transmission line project would cross 4.1 miles of the river atop as many as 17 towers ranging in height from 160 feet to 295 feet, compromising the scenic integrity of the historic cultural areas that comprise the James River. The towers and power lines would intrude on the public vantage points from the Historic Triangle, which includes the Colonial Parkway, Jamestown Island’s Black Point and Carter’s Grove Plantation, as well as water routes on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Trail. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named the resource to its 2013 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
Threat: Much like the Booker T. Washington National Monument, located three miles away and listed as a Most Endangered Site in 2009, the Hook-Powell-Moorman farmstead is threatened by encroaching development along Route 122 and nearby Smith Mountain Lake.
Historic Schools In Virginia
Threat: As budgets tighten and populations increase, increasingly there are frequent calls for the closure or demolition of historic school buildings across the state.
The Old Concrete Road
Threat: While the mountain is under conservation easement, and is well-loved by both Roanoke citizens and its caretakers, the City of Roanoke’s Department of Parks and Recreation, it is recognized that the “rubble” retaining walls lining the road are suffering from deterioration and damage in multiple spots, due to root intrusion and normal freeze/thaw cycles and general wear and tear.
Pocahontas Island Historic District
Threat: Residents and stewards of Pocahontas Island’s history have been unable to generate the necessary funds to fully interpret the site’s Underground Railroad narrative. The privately-owned house on Witten Street and the City of Petersburg-owned Jarratt House both suffer from years of neglect as a result of a lack of funding and need stabilization and repair. While some repairs have been made to the Jarratt House in the past decade, a portion of the rear wall collapsed several years ago.
Phlegar Building (Old Clerk’s Office)
Threat: Deferred maintenance has taken its toll on the exterior of the building and the lack of a preservation plan makes its future uncertain.
Threat: The public-private Revitalize RVA Plan contemplates intensive construction and redevelopment within the Shockoe Bottom flood plain, including a stadium, hotel, grocery store, retail space, office buildings, apartment buildings, parking garages, highway off-ramp modifications, and storm water flood-control infrastructure. These activities are likely to adversely impact historic and archaeological resources that are listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (including those located within the Shockoe Valley & Tobacco Row Historic District and those identified in a multiple-property listing entitled The Slave Trade as a Commercial Enterprise in Richmond, Virginia).
Threat: Waterloo Bridge was used for vehicular traffic until January 2014 when it was closed for reasons of safety; the wear and tear of sustained use and structural deficiencies in its iron material were no longer able to sustain a practical weight limit.
READ THE STORIES OF THESE PRESERVATION SITES HERE: http://preservationvirginia.org/press-room/release/2014-most-endangered-historic-sites-list-press-release