Historic & Heritage Resources
Loudoun County's Department of Planning and Zoning helps preserve Loudoun County's historic and cultural resources by:
- Reviewing development applications and archaeological surveys
- Administering Historic and Cultural Conservation Districts and Historic Roadways District
- Supporting the county's Heritage Commission and Historic District Review Committee
- Implementing the Heritage Preservation Plan and Historic Guidelines
Updating the African American Historic Architectural Resources Survey
March 17, 2023: Loudoun County, in coordination with the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library’s Black History Committee, has begun updating and expanding its African American Historic Architectural Resources Survey. As a result, residents may see surveyors in their communities performing this work over the coming weeks.
Since the early 1700s, Loudoun County’s African American communities have been an important part of the county’s history and culture, and the survey is intended to document the buildings, settlements and landscapes that highlight those contributions.
The county has contracted with EHT Traceries, Inc. of Washington, DC to assist in documenting properties that may be important to include in this survey. Residents may be seeing Traceries staff in their neighborhood as they photograph and further document these historic sites. They are authorized by Loudoun County to conduct this research. If they would like to access a private property, they must first seek permission from property owner.
- View, print or download a flyer about the 2023 African American Historic Architectural Resources Survey update (PDF)
For more information about the 2023 survey, contact:
- Department of Planning and Zoning, 703-777-0246 or email.
- Members of the news media should call 703-771-5086 or send an email.
Initial African American Historic Architectural Resources Survey
In 2002 and 2003, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors contracted with History Matters to survey historic resources related to the history of African Americans in Loudoun County, Virginia.
As a result of the survey, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources determined that seven of the African-American communities are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places: Bowmantown, Brownsville, Howardsville, Murphy's Corner, St. Louis, Watson, and Willisville.
Loudoun County has over 1,500 recorded archaeological sites that include both prehistoric Native American sites and early European domestic and industrial sites. The majority of archaeological investigation that occurs in Loudoun County is directly linked to both county and federal requirements related to land development projects.
For most types of development applications, an archaeological survey is required to determine if the proposed development will negatively impact significant historic and archaeological sites.
- Archaeological reports must be submitted to the county for review
- Archaeological survey and reporting must meet professional standards set forth by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in its Guidelines For Conducting Historic Resources Survey In Virginia (PDF).
The Department of Planning and Zoning:
- Reviews archaeological reports and makes recommendations for preservation or impact mitigation per Article 6, Section 6 to 300 of the Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance.
- Reviews archaeological reports and makes recommendations for preservation or impact mitigation per sections 7.800, 7.810, and 8.102 of the Facilities Standards Manual.
The Heritage Preservation Plan outlines strategies for identifying, preserving and promoting Loudoun County's heritage resources in three major ways:
- Community education
- Heritage tourism
- Resource protection
The plan recommends implementation steps, such as the creation of a Heritage Commission and a Heritage Register.
If you would like more information, please email the Loudoun County Department of Planning and Zoning or call 703-777-0246.