Historic courthouse in Fluvanna County needs more than $1 million in funding for restoration project

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Fluvanna County’s historic courthouse is in need of a big makeover, one that is going to cost more than $1 million.

The courthouse dates back to 1830 and many say they see it as a landmark in Fluvanna, Virginia, and the United States.

“It’s almost a symbol of the county,” Fluvanna Historical Society President Marvin Moss said. “It is one of the most perfectly preserved both on the outside and the inside of all of the courthouses of this era, and that’s a tribute to the care that the people in Fluvanna County have had for this building over more than almost two centuries.”

Moss says the courthouse last underwent restoration in the 1980′s, and it’s time for updated fixing, given new technology that can do more for the building. He says the roof is one thing that needs repairs.

“You can see that the facade, including the columns in the front, very badly need attention. This is really one of the most important Greek Revival buildings in the United States,” he said.

“What is really technical and very scientific is the methodology that is used in a building of this age and significance. You can’t just call up your local contractor, you’ve got to work with professionals,” historical society member Kathleen Kilpatrick said.

The organization contacted John Mott, the director of preservation with MTFA. He is one of the architects who helped come up with the price tag of $1.6 million to preserve the courthouse. It’s the attention to detail and preserving the history, that adds up to be so much. It’s also a project that will take place over phases, and multiple years.

“It has a lot of deferred maintenance that needs to be taken care of,” Mott said. “Beyond just the fact of the building and its importance, and its historic qualities, the thing that has really impressed me is the the association of the county and the Historic Society, in working as one to try to really benefit the lives of the people of Palmyra and the county and in the area of Virginia beyond the county. We don’t see that that that often on not to the degree that I’ve seen it with these two organizations.”

The Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors gave the nod of a go-ahead for the project during its meeting Wednesday, December 7. A comprehensive Historic Structure Report was presented to the board.

Moss says the county has a history of working with the historical society, as the group approaches projects as a public-private partnership. He says these combined efforts help with fundraising.

Moss says the county has already funded the first phase, so they’re now looking for donations and funding to get the rest done.

“Restoring and building projects that the county has is a high priority,” Moss said. “Over the years, the Historical Society has raised almost $2 million for various projects.”

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