Lessons of his­tory

City’s his­toric sites on dis­play for preser­va­tion con­fer­ence

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By John Adam Staff Writer

PETERSBURG — Petersburg’s rich his­tory was put on full dis­play Fri­day, as Preser­va­tion Vir­ginia hosted their an­nual con­fer­ence at var­i­ous places around the city. At­ten­dees got the chance to hear lec­tures about the preser­va­tion ef­forts cur­rently go­ing on in Petersburg, and how they can bring those ideas back to their own com­mu­ni­ties.

“This is our an­nual con­fer­ence, and we put it on in part­ner­ship with the Vir­ginia De­part­ment of His­toric Re­sources,” said Justin Sarafin, di­rec­tor of Preser­va­tion Ini­tia­tive and En­gage­ment for Preser­va­tion Vir­ginia. “A main rea­son we felt Petersburg was so ap­pro­pri­ate this year was be­cause of some of the part­ner­ships that have come out of the city, that have formed fol­low­ing the clos­ing of the mu­se­ums and things like that.”

Sarafin said the preser­va­tion part­ner­ships made in the wake of the city’s fi­nan­cial cri­sis are “un­prece­dented” and thus made Petersburg an in­ter­est­ing case study for or­ga­ni­za­tions, busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als in­ter­ested in his­toric


Af­ter at­ten­dees gath­ered at Union Sta­tion to start the con­fer­ence, they got the chance to at­tend sev­eral lec­tures hap­pen­ing at dif­fer­ent his­toric lo­ca­tions around the city. The top­ics cov­ered sev­eral ar­eas re­lated to his­toric preser­va­tion, in­clud­ing how to use his­toric tax cred­its.

“I hope that peo­ple get to see the won­der­ful things go­ing on in Petersburg,” said El­iz­a­beth Kostelny, CEO of Preser­va­tion Vir­ginia. “The city is a lab­o­ra­tory for how eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion can work to­gether.”

Af­ter the speak­ing ses­sions, vis­i­tors were able to take tours of sev­eral of Petersburg’s his­toric sites and ar­eas, in­clud­ing Old Towne, the Bat­tersea prop­erty and Poc­a­hon­tas Is­land.

“We hope that through the ses­sions and the walk­ing tours, peo­ple from other parts of the state can see how Petersburg is get­ting it done,” said Kostelny.


Vis­i­tors lis­ten to a spe­cial panel at the Union Train Sta­tion dur­ing Preser­va­tion Vir­ginia’s an­nual con­fer­ence on Fri­day.


Vis­i­tors lis­ten to Wayne Tucker, left, out­side of the Siege Mu­seum as he gives a walk­ing tour of Old Towne on Fri­day.

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