Virginia Beach Courthouse Village and Municipal Center now a registered Virginia landmark

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Virginia Board of Historic Resources officially listed the Virginia Beach Courthouse Village and Municipal Center Historic District on the Virginia Landmarks Register on Sept. 21.

The nomination will now be forwarded by the state to the National Park Service for review and potential placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Placement on these registers is honorary and recognizes structures, sites and districts that embody the historical and cultural foundations of the state and nation.

The historic district is about 110 acres in the Princess Anne area of Virginia Beach and has served as the center of the local government for nearly 200 years.

The Courthouse Village segment of the district includes the 1822 Princess Anne County Courthouse, 1896 county clerk’s office, 1931 Courthouse Elementary School, 1793 Whitehurst Buffington House, the Richard Kellam House and several buildings on Princess Anne and North Landing roads.

The Municipal Center segment of the district includes the 1969 City Hall and numerous, mostly Colonial Revival style buildings that were constructed or repurposed for the governmental complex after the merger of Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach in 1963.

The nomination noted, “There have been alterations to some resources, but the overall character of the early courthouse village and the later municipal center inspired by the creation of the City of Virginia Beach are clear and demonstrate the evolution of the government of this city and former county.”

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission identified the area around the Princess Anne Courthouse as a potential state and national register historic district in 2012 and worked with city staff to navigate the nomination process. This was delayed until 2016 after Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff recommended adding the later governmental complex to the district profile.

Commonwealth Preservation Group of Norfolk prepared the Preliminary Information Form to determine eligibility (May 2016) and the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.

The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission is a City Council-appointed body that advises Council on issues related to historic preservation. They seek to preserve, protect and maintain the historic integrity of Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County through a program of advocacy and increased public awareness and involvement.