GFCA and other community organizations have been long-time supporters of the concept of Resident Curatorship (RC) as a commonsense solution to the need to preserve historic county-owned buildings, such as the farmhouse on Turner Farm in Great Falls. In concept, an RC program could help the restoration and preservation of historic buildings by leasing buildings to private parties who agree to restore and maintain them properly. This summer, Fairfax County released a proposed RC program for comment. After review, the GFCA and the Great Falls Historical Society (GFHS) have joined forces in calling for changes to the proposal.
GFCA and GFHS formed a Working Group in July to review the nearly 250-page report that Fairfax County developed proposing a county RC program. In a letter to the County sent on Aug 6, GFCA and GFHS called for a stronger set of criteria in selecting historic properties, urged that the Turner Farmhouse be selected as the County’s pilot project to demonstrate how the RC works, and called for a public hearing so other community groups and residents could comment on the RC plan. The recommendations developed by the Great Falls working group also suggested changes to program administration, standards for curator selection, and leasing terms. Click here for a copy of the Working Group recommendations.
Last year, GFCA passed a resolution supporting the Mark Turner Farmhouse on Georgetown Pike as a primary candidate for the new RC program. Unfortunately, this historic home has become a community eyesore with no upkeep since acquired by FCPA four years ago. It is hoped that quick action to implement an RC program could lead to restoration of the Turner Farmhouse and other historic structures owned by the County.