Dear Museums Friends,
I’m excited to be joining the team as the new History Museums Director! My husband and I just relocated from outside of Charlotte, North Carolina, where I worked as the Executive Director at Historic Latta Plantation. I’ve always had a passion for early American history and historic houses, so joining the Cultural Affairs Department compliments both my passion for preserving history and helping to tell local community stories. I am amazed at the incredible work the Virginia Beach History Museums team has been undertaking to help preserve Virginia Beach’s history, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know you — our donors, volunteers, partners and neighbors.
I appreciate your continued support of the Virginia Beach History Museums and look forward to sharing our stories and news with you.
Here are the latest updates on both of our exciting restoration projects:
Francis Land House Restoration Updates:
• The Contractor and City Personnel worked with the Council of Garden Clubs to develop a plan for the relocation of the boxwoods surrounding the Francis Land House. This work has been completed and the boxwoods are now located near the back of the property near Kings Grant Road.
• The Commonwealth Preservation Group (CPG) performed moisture monitoring in the basement and has provided a report of their findings. Recommendations have been made that require the approval of the State Historic Preservation Office. A letter seeking this approval has been sent to this Office and a response is expected the week of February 1, 2021. Work on other areas within and outside the house can continue.
• The brick flooring has been removed in the basement. Upon removal, the Contractor found an abandoned concrete duct that was used by a heating system. We are currently determining what needs to occur with this duct system.
Lynnhaven House Restoration Updates
• Architectural work has been completed as of January 22. After completion, a walk-through was conducted to determine if any items need to be performed prior to a close-out of the project. Any close-out tasks should be completed by February 28.
• New heating equipment has been installed and is conditioning the house. Digital controls for the heating equipment are being fine-tuned. New ductwork and supply/return air grilles, HVAC wiring, floor joists and electrical and lighting fixtures have been installed.
• City personnel completed a walk-through of the house to identify any outstanding tasks that need to be completed. Most items involve clean up, HVAC controls, air balance of the HVAC system, and some minor ductwork changes. The Contractor is to have these items corrected by February 28, 2021.
Other Museums Updates
• Since our last update, staff has published new episodes of the “Beyond the Passage” podcast, including a highlight of historical holiday traditions and a dive into the world of museum collection maintenance.
• We worked with the City of Virginia Beach Communications Office to complete full virtual tour of the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum so the community can learn about the museum while the Renaissance Academy is closed to the public. We revealed the video on February 1, in honor of the start of Black History Month.
• Alex Dye, Media and Communications Coordinator for Cultural Affairs, did an introductory interview with Annmarie Reiley-Kay, our new Museum Director. Get to know more about her background here.
• Our staff continues to re-shape educational programming and is in the process of creating new seasonal programming. Stay tuned for more exciting news! For more updates from the Virginia Beach History Museums, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletter at the Virginia Beach History Museums website.
Once again, thank you for your continued support and interest in preserving and enhancing the Virginia Beach History Museums. Please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, and we will keep you posted on the next steps in the restoration processes.
My Best Wishes,
Director, Virginia Beach History Museums