Virginia's Endangered Places

May 15, 2013

Compton- Bateman house in better days.

Preservation Virginia’s 2013 list of endangered places ranges from 12 acres of old growth hardwoods to century-old schools built for Africa American students.

The Wytheville birthplace of former First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson needs repairs and financial support. A Page County school that housed government offices for nearly eighty years may be knocked down and replaced with a parking lot. A graveyard and archeological site in Danville may become an industrial site.

The remains of an Albemarle County community established by freed slaves is in the path of a planned highway.

In Roanoke, a home built about 1835 that served as a city recreation center may not survive unless the city finds a buyer by the end of this month. Alison Blanton, President of the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation explains why the Compton-Bateman House is important.

“It’s one of the few houses in the city of Roanoke that date before the Civil War and remind us of how this area was developed and settled before the railroad came through. It tells us that other layer of our history, befroe the city as we know it today. It even predates Big Lick."

Preservation Virginia’s Justin Sarafin says the list is about finding ways to save these historic sites.  “The point is not to wag fingers or place blame or these types of things, but rather to look at things in a positive way and work for positive outcomes," says Sarafin.

 Preservation Virginia’s endangered sites list also includes a stand of old growth hardwoods at Arlington National Cemetery, the site of two Civil War battles near Manassas and the surviving of examples of 381 Rosenwald schools built around Virginia early in the 20th century to improve public education for African American students.