Indicator Arrow

Virginia Preservation Conference

The Virginia Preservation Conference annually brings together architects, builders, preservationists, government leaders, developers, lawyers, local planning officials and everyday citizens from Virginia and other states to explore preservation ideas and initiatives. During the conference, participants are equipped with valuable preservation resources and knowledge that they can use to protect the historic places in their own communities.

This year, the conference, hosted alongside the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, will take place in Danville October 18-19 at the Community Market. Programming will echo the modern preservation movement, which recognizes the need for a more inclusive representation of increasingly socio-economically, racially and ethnically diverse communities, and the importance of protecting Virginia’s diverse historic resources that tell a more accurate and comprehensive story of the Commonwealth’s unique identity.

Keynote Speaker: Donovan Rypkema

Donovan Rypkema, the well-known principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm that specializes in downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization, will speak about re-urbanism and ways gentrification and displacement can negatively change the character of historic communities.

Register today! Preservation Virginia members can use promotional code "member" to receive a discount on general admission to the conference on October 19. 

Hotel Accommodations 

A block of rooms has been set aside for conference attendees at the Holiday Inn Express located at 121 Riverside Drive, Danville, VA 24540. These rooms can be reserved by calling the hotel directly at 434-793-4000 and asking for rooms in the Preservation Virginia Conference block. You can also reserve rooms online by visiting and entering the booking code PVC and your date of arrival. 

Conference Schedule

In addition to sessions on reducing gentrification in historic neighborhoods, protecting rural historic resources, protecting Virginia Indian sites and recording and protecting African American cemeteries, the conference will include tours of some of Danville’s most historic treasures. See the full conference schedule below:

October 18

  • 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    Workshop - At the Crossroads: Collections Care and Sustainability
    Location: Danville Science Center, 677 Craghead Street, Danville, VA 24541

    Museums, arts and cultural organizations, and collecting institutions are invited to join Preservation Virginia and Virginia Association of Museums for a special half-day event devoted to community building in Danville and Southern Virginia. Through facilitated conversations, we will discuss issues related to organizational and facilities management including collections care and long-term sustainability of a collections-based program. (25 people max, pre-registration is required) 
  • 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM: River Road Bus Tour
    Click here for bus tour information. (45 people max, pre-registration required)
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Meet and Greet/Networking, Ballard Brewery

October 19

  • 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM: Registration and Coffee
  • 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM: Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM: Keynote Presentation by Donovan Rypkema, Gentrification and re-urbanization
  • 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Session 1: Preservation, Gentrification, and Re-urbanism Panel Discussion
    Explore historic preservation as a broader, more people-centered and inclusive field that helps foster healthy, diverse communities by combating gentrification in historic neighborhoods through the use of affordable housing and other tools. 
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM: Lunch on your own
  • 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
    Session 2: Identifying, Recording, and Protecting Historic Cemeteries
    Archaeologist Tom Klatka from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) will discuss how to identify historic cemeteries and will explain the steps to take with abandoned cemeteries. Speakers will address the information that can be gained from researching cemeteries as well as recent developments in public policy that address historic African American cemeteries.
  • 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
    Session 3: Protecting Virginia Indian Sites and Traditions
    Victoria Ferguson, Director of the Monacan Indian Living History Exhibit at Natural Bridge State Park and a member of the Monacan Indian Nation, will speak about the culture, traditions, and technologies of her ancestors and the importance of protecting Virginia Indian sites and traditions.
  • 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
    Session 4: Rural Heritage Protection: Bridging Historic Preservation and Land Conservation
    This session examines how historic preservation organizations and land conservation organizations can and should collaborate more readily through the use of tools like rural historic districts and conservation easements. It will also explore how bridging the artificial divide between disciplines can spur additional conservation efforts by instilling and nurturing regional and cultural identity.
  • 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    Option 1: Bus tour of Danville’s historic districts focusing on tobacco, textiles and sites important to the Civil Rights Movement (50 people max, pre-registration required)

    Option 2: Walking tour of Danville’s Tobacco Warehouse and Residential Historic District (25 people max, pre-registration required)
  • 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM: Evening Reception and Preservation Pitch Winner Announcement