Gwynn’s Island residents had a chance last week to learn about the process that would be involved in having their island placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Representatives of Preservation Mathews, an organization that seeks to preserve historic homes and properties throughout the county, told the 50 or so people at the meeting that placement on both registries is “strictly honorary” and simply provides official recognition of the existence of a community environment that’s historically significant.
Organization member Dee Russell emphasized that residents of historic districts aren’t required to take any steps to preserve their properties and are free to paint, renovate, or even demolish their homes as they see fit. No local historic district ordinance is required in order to qualify for historic status, she said, and government registry as a historic district doesn’t give the state or federal government any authority to set u...
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