VIRGINIA BEACH — This city has a new “historic district,” as the combination of the Princess Anne Courthouse Village and the Municipal Center sites were added on June 4 to the National Register of Historic Places.
While neither of the sites nor the individual buildings located there were deemed worthy of the designation by themselves, together they made a strong case.
“In the case of a historic district the sum is greater than the individual parts,” said Mark Reed, Historic Preservation planner for the city. “While the structures don’t qualify individually, as a group they do because they relate to each other as a group.”
Reed said the historic Princess Anne County Courthouse is the anchor of the new historic district, but that it had undergone too many changes and alterations since its construction in 1822 to qualify for the designation on its own.
Courthouse Village grew up around the intersection of Princess Anne and North Landing roads, in the area near the 1822 courthouse. It includes structures such as the County Clerk’s Office (1896), the Kellam House, the Courthouse Elementary School (1931), City Hall (1969), as well as the Courthouse Green and Confederate Monument.
It also includes the Whitehurst-Buffington House (1793), which while it actually pre-dates the courthouse is and was a part of the development around Courthouse Village.
Although the other structures aren’t all from the same era as the courthouse what survives, Reed said, retains the “fabric and character” the National Park Service – which lists NRHP buildings, sites, and districts – looks for.
The new historic district encompasses about 110 acres and has served as the seat of county and city government for nearly 200 years.