Fairfax County Historic Preservation and Heritage Resources

Older buildings and neighborhoods in Fairfax County are part of Fairfax County’s "heritage resources" and are economic and social investments that pay dividends.

Many historic buildings and archaeological sites are found throughout Fairfax County. These sites and buildings also tell the history of the built environment in the county, which includes Native American hunting camps and long-term settlements, the tidewater plantations of George Washington and George Mason, Civil and Spanish-American War campsites and training grounds, as well as the 20th century planned town of Reston and its 19th century counterpart Dunn Loring. Recording, preserving, and studying this evidence enriches the quality of life in Fairfax County by putting residents in touch with their heritage, providing residents and property owners with a sense of temporal stability and continuity,and instilling in both young and old a loyalty and commitment to place and community. This public stewardship responsibility has been recognized for over thirty years and continues today.

Historic Preservation and Heritage Resources Information

  • Historic Overlay Districts
    In 1969, the Board of Supervisors amended the Zoning Ordinance creating thirteen Historic Overlay Districts to provide regulations over and above the regular zoning protection.to better protect those unique areas, sites, and buildings that are of special architectural, historic, or archaeological value to local residents and visitors.
  • Architectural Review Board (ARB)
    The ARB is responsible for public interest(s) as embodied in the Historic Overlay District Ordinance. Its job is to protect and enhance the resources that give a district its historic, architectural, or archaeological significance.  
  • Inventory of Historic Sites
    A catalog of historically significant sites within Fairfax County.
  • History Commission
    The Fairfax County History Commission, established in 1969, helps identify, document, record, and preserve our county's historic past.
  • Fairfax County History Commission Historical Roadside Markers
  • Cemeteries of Fairfax County
  • Preservation Easements
    Conserving open space and historic resources through easements.
  • The Virginia Room
    The Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room maintains a collection rich in regional history and genealogy.
  • Resident Curator Program Implementation Study
    An implementation study supporting the establishment of a Resident Curator Program (RCP) in Fairfax County is complete. RCPs identify publicly-owned historic properties with no immediate or practical public use and through an open and competitive process, select outside parties with skills, resources and vision to rehabilitate a property in accordance with accepted preservation standards for historic buildings.  

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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