Beginning with the creation of the Old and Historic District in 1963, the Town of Leesburg has been committed to the identification, documentation, and preservation of historic resources throughout the town for more than 50 years. The Board of Architectural Review and design review program for the H-1 and H-2 Overlay Districts is the primary activity of the Historic Preservation Section of the Planning & Zoning Department. But the Town has also engaged in surveys of historic architectural resources (1975, 1998, 1999, 2000), the survey of historic battlefields in Leesburg (2003), and the publication of a walking tour book guide of the history and architecture of Leesburg's Old and Historic District.
The architectural surveys from the 1970s and late 1990s were completed by preservation consultants and are housed at the Thomas Balch Library, the Department of Planning and Zoning, and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources in Richmond. They can provide useful information about a building’s date of construction, overview history, and conditions. In addition, they can document a property’s change over time, especially in light of the extensive development that has occurred in Leesburg over the last 20 years. These surveys exist primarily for buildings located within the boundaries of the Old and Historic District, but do include a few properties in neighborhoods adjacent to or near the district.
The Exploring Leesburg: guide to history and architecture provides more detailed information about a limited number of properties in the Old and Historic District. Available for sale at the 2nd floor service counter in Town Hall, it generally serves as a recreational guide, with a variety of walking tours, to the downtown core and surrounding historic residential neighborhoods.
The best place to start for additional information and guidance on property research is the Thomas Balch Library. Balch Library is a well-known research library that houses a vast collection of written and photographic records as well as maps relating to Leesburg’s history.
Lauren Murphy, Preservation Planner, is the staff liaison to the Board of Architectural Review and assists applicants with the BAR process, design criteria and historic preservation questions (e.g., tax credits, and national register nominations).