Courthouse Grounds Research Project

Project Overview

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors directed the county Heritage Commission in September 2017 to review the "full historic significance" of the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds and its statues and to make recommendations on additional memorials “to fully reflect the history of the grounds and Loudoun County.”

The commission appointed a subcommittee, which worked on the project over a 16-month period. The subcommittee consulted with experts and community members who provided insight and technical assistance, including the Black History Committee of the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Douglass Alumni, Carver Alumni, and the Loudoun Freedom Center. They also invited experts to conduct a peer review of the historical narrative.

Click the image to read the report. (PDF)

Link to final report on the Loudoun County Courthouse by the Loudoun County Heritage Commission

The commission’s scope of work did not include recommendations about any current memorials or statues. Virginia state law, Va. Code § 15.2-1812. Memorials for war veterans, states that it is “unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials…”

On June 4, 2019, the commission presented its research and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

At this meeting, the Board accepted the Heritage Commission’s recommendation to publish the historical report developed by members of the commission. 

The Board forwarded the commission’s other recommendations to a future Finance, Government Operations and Economic Development Committee. Those recommendations are:

  • Allocating funds and directing staff to pursue National Historic Landmark status for the courthouse;
  • Naming the old or new courthouse after prominent African-American attorney Charles Hamilton Houston;
  • Creating an interpretive “Path Toward Freedom” walk on the courthouse grounds; and
  • Implementing a professionally-facilitated community process to design and place memorials along the interpretive walk honoring “Loudoun County’s path to freedom and justice.”

Public Input

The commission seeks public input on this project on an ongoing basis.
Email the Heritage Commission to provide feedback and share historical resources.

Subcommittee Members

  • Donna Bohanon
  • Mitch Diamond
  • Lori Kimball
  • Robert Pollard
  • Bronwen Souders
  • Michelle Thomas
  • Bill Wilkin
  • Kacey Young

For More Information

If you have questions about the project, email Heidi Siebentritt in the Department of Planning and Zoning or call 703-777-0246.