GFCA has been a long-time supporter of the concept of Resident Curatorship (RC) as a common-sense solution to the need to preserve historic buildings, such as the historic farmhouse on Turner Farm in Great Falls. Many other community organizations have expressed similar support for, and interest in, the idea.
Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has responsibility for the County’s Resident Curatorship programs, authorized by the state in 2011. This week, FCPA issued a draft “Resident Curatorship Program Study” and is seeking public comments by August 6. GFCA is requesting that FCPA schedule a public hearing prior to that date to discuss the study. GFCA also will sponsor a working group of interested parties to evaluate the report and provide comments to FCPA prior to August 6.
Last year, GFCA passed a Resolution supporting the Mark Turner residence as a primary candidate for the new RC program. Six of the 24 initial RC sites listed in the FCPA Report are located in the Dranesville district, including the Turner residence and Dranesville Tavern. Community residents, GF Historical Society, Analemma Society, equestrian groups, and GFCA all are concerned that the Mark Turner building has become a Georgetown Pike eyesore with no upkeep since acquired by FCPA four years ago. Quick action to implement an RC program there could be a solution.
In mid-2013, three different groups expressed preliminary interest in renovating the Mark Turner building at an estimated $750,000 to $1 million investment, in exchange for a long-term virtually-free lease. The interested parties were a private family, a quasi-commercial bed and breakfast operation. GFCA recommends that potential candidates review the FCPA Study and prepare applications with a rehabilitation work plan consistent with U.S. Interior Department “Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitation, Restoring and Reconstructing Historic Buildings.” To assure continued night-time darkness for on-going Observatory activities at Turner Farm, maintaining night-time darkness should be an essential consideration. Similar consideration should be given to coexistence and fit with other core activities at the Farm such as equestrian activities.
For additional details and a copy of the full FCPA report, click here