Be a preservation hero. Help Fairfax County preserve our tangible past
by partnering with us to care for our historic resources. Slices of
Fairfax County history are slipping away as some little-used,
publicly-owned historic properties fall victim to the elements and
disuse. The Resident Curator Program (RCP) is designed to preserve
historic properties by offering long-term leases to qualified tenants
who agree to rehabilitate and maintain these historic resources. A
curator can be a private citizen, a non-profit entity, or a for-profit
Resident Curator Program Introduction
Background Virginia Code Establishing Resident Curator Programs
In January 2011, the General Assembly amended Va. Code Ann. §
15.2-2306 authorizing localities to develop resident curator
programs. The Code enables localities to create, by ordinance, "a
resident curator program such that private entities through lease or
other contract may be engaged to manage, preserve, maintain, or
operate, including the option to reside in, any such historic area,
property, lands, or estate owned or leased by the locality."
Fairfax County Resident Curator Program Ordinance
The Board of Supervisors adopted the Resident Curator Program
Ordinance in 2014, establishing a Resident Curator Program in Fairfax
County. This program, designed to preserve and maintain historic
properties owned or leased by the County, will lease historic
properties to individuals or businesses, requiring that resident
curators maintain and improve the leased properties according to the
Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic
Properties, 36 CFR Part 68 (2013), as amended. Additionally, the
curator is required to provide reasonable public access consistent
with the historic property's nature and use
Resident Curator Program Stated Goal and Objective
The objective of the Fairfax County Resident Curator Program (RCP)
is the preservation of historic buildings within the county…The end
goal is to rehabilitate and maintain underutilized historic
properties and provide periodic public access to appreciate the
historical significance of the properties.
The RCP is designed to preserve historic properties by offering
long-term leases to qualified tenants who agree to rehabilitate and
maintain these historic resources in accordance with established
preservation standards. A curator can be a private citizen, a
non-profit entity, or a for-profit entity.
Any proposed rehabilitation of these sites must meet the Secretary
of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, and the curator must
provide reasonable public access to the property. In return, curators
pay no rent as long as they continue to fulfill their contractual
obligations. Curators are responsible for upkeep, property
maintenance expenses, utilities, and county property taxes.
Summary of the Resident Curator Program
By definition, a Resident Curator Program (RCP) enables an
individual, a group of individuals, or an organization, to serve as
the curator of a property. Fairfax County's RCP is intended to reduce
the public costs associated with the care and preservation of the
properties by enabling groups or individuals to take over the
responsibility. In addition to caring for the day-to-day management
of the property, the curators are responsible for the rehabilitation
and continued maintenance of the property. Properties that are
included in the RCP have been deemed historically significant and
meet established criteria of eligibility for curator.
Resident Curator Program Overview – Rehabilitate, Reuse and Maintain
The Fairfax County RCP allows the county to address underutilized
publicly-owned historic properties by entering into long-term leases
with qualified tenants who agree to rehabilitate the property in
accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the
Treatment of Historic Properties, and provide ongoing maintenance and
upkeep of the property for the duration of the contract.
The RCP arose to address the large number of historically
significant structures deteriorating on public land. The
public/private partnerships created through RCPs in other
jurisdictions have provided a successful stewardship solution for
these important cultural resources.
A resident curator is a contractual agreement between Fairfax County
and the curator, where the curator agrees to provide the service of
rehabilitation and on-going maintenance of a property in exchange for
the long-term occupation of the property. A curator can be a private
citizen, a non-profit entity, or a for-profit entity. The proposed
rehabilitation must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards
for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and the Curator must
provide "reasonable public access" to the property.
Determining the Length of the Curator Lease
A gross annual fair market rental amount will be established through
a third party appraisal. The curator's annual estimated costs to
manage and maintain the property will then be deducted from the gross
annual fair market rental amount, in order to determine the curator's
net annual rental obligation. The total estimated rehabilitation
expenses will be divided by the net annual rental obligation to
determine the length of the lease. In most cases, curators will
accrue much of the rent obligation for the term through the costs of
rehabilitation. No cash rent is collected during the base lease term
as long as the curator continues to fulfill the obligations under the
Once the rehabilitation of the property is complete, the curator can
remain in the property for the length of the curator terms without
paying any rent, as long as they are meeting their contractual
obligations, including managing and maintaining the property . The
curators are responsible for the management, maintenance, and general
upkeep of the property for as long as the Curator is in force. They
are also responsible for all utilities and county property taxes.
The Turner Farmhouse, built in 1905 by the Turner family, is
located in a 52-acre community park at the intersection of
Georgetown Pike and Springvale Road in Great Falls, Virginia. The
property contains several historic structures. The Mark Turner
Dairy Farm is an example of the type of farm that predominated in
the Great Falls area during the early years of the twentieth
century, and the Turners were hailed as model farmers in a 1948
article in the "National Grange Monthly."
The 3,216-square-foot house is significant due to its Queen Anne
style architecture and because it exemplifies the cultural,
economic, and historic heritage of the Springvale and
Forestville/Great Falls communities in Northern Virginia. Many of
the original details, formal parlor, hardwood flooring, and
fireplaces remain. The farm house has four bedrooms and four
Turner Application Review and Evaluation Team Meeting Schedule
The Resident Curator Evaluation Team for applications to Turner
Farm will hold a public information meeting on May 17,
2017, at 7 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange located at 9818
Georgetown Pike in Great Falls, VA. The meeting provides an
opportunity for applicants to present their proposal to the
evaluation team in a public forum. This will be the evaluation
team’s opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback to the
applicants, and to receive public comment on each proposal.
Additional meetings of the evaluation team will be held on
Mondays, May 8, May 22 and July 10 at 9 a.m. in
the Herrity Building at 12055 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA.
These meetings will take place in the ninth floor Park Authority
Board Room. While these Monday meetings are open to the public,
there will be no opportunity for public comment.
Members of the public are asked to submit comments in writing to
the project manager via Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov
by Friday, June 2, 2017.
For more information contact the Public Information Office at
The Park Authority is currently working to update the master plan
for Turner Farm Park. To find out more about the planning process
and to add your voice to the conversation, visit Turner Farm Park Master Plan
APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
Ellmore Farmhouse Documentation
The Ellmore Farmhouse is a two-story, 3,300-square-foot property
located on West Ox Road in Herndon, Virginia. The farmhouse was
constructed principally of yellow pine in 1891 for Mrs. Mary W.
Ellmore and her two children. Members of the Ellmore family
occupied the property for more than 50 years, operating a
productive dairy farm there through 1945, when the property was
The successive owners continued to operate a dairy farm until
selling the farm in 1954. In February 2001, the Fairfax County Park
Authority purchased the property for inclusion in Frying Pan Farm
The farmhouse has 12 rooms, one full bath and one half-bath, a
one-third basement, and a front porch that has been restored to its
original span across the full front of the house. It has central
heat, gas and sewer connections, and water is available.
Ellmore Farmhouse Application Review and Evaluation Team Meeting
Application Review and Public Comment Coming Soon.
APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED
Stempson House Documentation
The circa 1937 Stempson House is a vernacular style residence with
Colonial Revival style elements. The house is significant due to
its association with the Occoquan Workhouse and Reformatory, later
known as Lorton Prison, which incorporated Progressive Era reform
ideals, and for its association with the Women's Suffrage movement
of the early 1900s.
In 1910, the land on which the Stempson House is located was
purchased by the United States federal government for the prison.
In 1937, amongst the Lorton Reformatory orchard trees, prisoners
constructed a residence for a prison officer. Ultimately, the
residence was converted for use by the prison security office.
The three bay by two bay frame house measures approximately 1,500
square feet with a garage of approximately 400 square feet. It has
three porches. The basement walls, chimneys, portico floors,
walkways and basement areaways are of brick construction. The
construction materials and methods used are typical of residential
housing construction in the early 1930s. The home has a living
room, office, kitchen, dining room, 3 bedrooms, 1 full bath and 2
half baths and an unfinished attic.
Fairfax County Park Authority
Resource Management Division
Denice Dressel, Resident Curator Project Manager
12055 Government Center Pkwy., Suite 927
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-0000 Denice.Dressel@Fairfaxcounty.gov