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State approves historic district proposals for Blackwell, Manchester

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Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR). (PHOTO: Jonathan Spiers)

RICHMOND, Va. — Four months after an initial proposal aroused local controversy, a revised plan to give historic designation to hundreds of Manchester-area properties has received the endorsement of state regulators.

At a special meeting Wednesday that was held at an area church, the two boards for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) approved the additions of a historic district for the Blackwell neighborhood and an expansion of an existing Manchester boundary to the Virginia Landmarks Register.

The new districts will be forwarded to the National Park Service for potential listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The approvals add nearly 700 buildings to the state register, giving those properties added protections and making them eligible for state historic preservation tax credits, which have driven a wave of redevelopment in and around Manchester in recent years.

The newly created Blackwell Historic District consists of 584 buildings primarily southwest of Hull Street and Jefferson Davis Highway, while the expanded Manchester boundary adds 104 structures to that district, bring its total building inventory to 351.

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