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Waterford Historic District

Waterford, Virginia
County of Loudoun.
Route 665, 7 miles Northwest of Leesburg
National Register Number: 69000256
Resource type: District.
Property type: Agriculture/Subsistence - agric.Outbuilding. The threat level was Watch in
Congressional District: VA-10 Certified Local Government: NO
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Current use/information: Village.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - April 15, 1970):
The oldest settlement in Loudoun County, Waterford is a remarkable intact example of a late 18th and early 19th century rural village surrounded by its historic farmland. Its significance rests on the almost pristine appearance of the village and surrounding countryside.

The NPS has provided technical assistance to the Village and Loudoun County by reviewing proposed development plans and by identifying areas that should remain undisturbed to protect the integrity of the Landmark. There are currently no state and only rudimentary local controls to prevent destruction of the historic values of the District. Preservation in Waterford continues to be basically a private sector initiative. One major transaction has secured the southern entryway to the village through protective easements, and recently, the Waterford Foundation purchased 57 acres within the Landmark's northern border to prevent excessive development. Unfortunately, the Foundation did not have the resources to retain the land, and resale with minimal development was financially necessary. The Foundation subdivided the property into four large lots, retaining 2.5 acres for parking for the annual fail. The four lots were each sold with open space conservation easements and one development right with protective covenants.

A developer has purchased 144 acres of the Phillips Farm of Waterford, Virginia all of which is inside the boundaries of the Waterford National Historic Landmark and forms Waterford's most prominent and cherished viewshed-an unspoiled agricultural setting on the north and west framed against the distant Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Waterford Foundation has begun fundraising efforts to buy out the developer and preserve the farm. The Foundation will need help now to raise approximately $3 million. The anticipated asking price will virtually preclude uses for the property other than as a location for outsized houses that would be sited on the high ground overlooking the village.  Such a jarring visual intrusion would undercut the U.S. Department of the Interior's rationale for establishing the Landmark in 1970, which states, "a preserved farm village within an intact agricultural setting." The National Park Service has cautioned that obtrusive development risks revocation of landmark status-signifying that the nation has lost an irreplaceable historic resource.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
Continued cooperation among easement holders (NPS, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Virginia Department of Historic Despite these efforts, incompatible development moves ever closer to the District as Metropolitan Washington expands. In fact, Loudoun County has been recognized as the fastest growing county of the east coast. Continued cooperation among the holders (National Trust for Historic Preservation, National Park Service, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Virginia Outdoors Foundation, Loudoun County) of the District's large number of conservation and preservation easements will ensure that the owners of the properties under easement are provided technical assistance and information through annual workshops and site visits and that the owners of additional properties are encouraged to participate in Waterford's easement program, which is one of the largest of any community in Virginia.

Comments and questions about the database may be directed to NHL_info@nps.gov