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Photograph courtesy of Jeffrey E. Klee, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
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Revolving Fund Program

About the Revolving Fund Program's History and Mission

The Commonwealth of Virginia's Historic Preservation Trust Fund was created in 1989 by the Virginia General Assembly. In 1999 the fund was transferred to Preservation Virginia and became the Revolving Fund Program.

The Revolving Fund Program is the only program in Virginia dedicated to saving endangered historic property state-wide.

The Revolving Fund Program's goal is to save endangered historic properties across Virginia from demolition and severe neglect.

How Does the Revolving Fund Program Work?

The Revolving Fund Program works in the following way:

  • Endangered significant historic properties are acquired to save them from demolition or severe neglect.
  • Acquired properties are placed under protective easement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, ensuring their protection from demolition and subdivision in perpetuity.
  • Properties are then sold to new owners who agree to undertake the necessary rehabilitation.
  • All proceeds generated from the sale of Revolving Fund Program properties are returned to the fund to replenish the reserves which enables future acquisitions.

The Revolving Fund Program's Record of Achievement

Since 1989, the Revolving Fund Program has achieved the following:

  • Saved 19 endangered historic properties from demolition
  • Sold 17 historic properties to new owners for rehabilitation
  • Placed 18 properties under protective easement Virginia Department of Historic Resources, this includes protecting over 700 acres of land
  • Received 4 donated endangered historic properties putting $1,096,821 into the fund
  • Acquired historic properties in 17 counties
  • Saved 3 commercial properties and 15 residential properties
  • Helped over 248 endangered historic properties through technical advice and guidance, leading to the saving of over 20 properties and helping place at least 10 properties under protective easement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources
  • Listed 4 properties on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Place.

Why is the Revolving Fund Program Needed?

Virginia is home to much of the oldest and finest architecture in America and as each historic property vanishes we lose an important part of our heritage. Virginia's historic properties are rapidly disappearing for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Inappropriate development and sprawl
  • Severe neglect, for example, the property is abandoned or a victim of demolition by neglect
  • Absentee owners
  • Ownership issues -- the property is tied up in disputes with family members or heirs
  • Property is threatened with demolition by city officials for code violations
  • Lack of awareness and understanding that historic properties are valuable and worth saving
  • Owners don't know how to go about selling or marketing their vacant and deteriorating historic property
  • Structures need to be moved for development, roads or new building project

How You Can Help the Revolving Fund Program?

The Revolving Fund Program needs your support with gifts of property and donations. The cycle of acquisition and re-sale keeps the Revolving Fund Program, in theory, in play in perpetuity. However, sometimes some endangered historic properties are harder to sell than others and stabilizing, insuring and maintaining them takes money out of the fund. As a result the fund slowly depletes over time. The Revolving Fund Program combats the decline in funds by accepting donations of property. Selling donated property puts money back into the fund and keeps it ready for the next acquisition. The Revolving Fund Program also actively seeks donations from individuals and foundations to support the management of the Program and to fill the coffers for purchasing threatened property.

How Can I Donate a Property or Alert the Revolving Fund Program about an Endangered Property?

For information on donating property or to talk to staff about an endangered property contact:

The Revolving Fund Program Manager
204 West Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23220
scooleen@preservationvirginia.org
804-648-1889 ext. 320
Fax: 804-775-0802

How Can I See Revolving Fund Program Properties for Sale?

To view Revolving Fund Properties for sale click here.

Tyro Mill
Tyro Mill, 1846, Nelson County: Acquired 2004 -- Sold 2005
The Red Lion Tavern
Red Lion Inn, 1783, Winchester: Acquired 1991 -- Sold 1998
Jackson House
Jackson House, 1850, Lynchburg: Donated to the Revolving Fund Program 1991 –- Sold 1992
Mason House
Mason House, 1720, Accomak County: Acquired 2002 -- Sold 2007