HLF Recognizes Bartenstein, Barnes

HLF Recognizes Bartenstein, Barnes

ARTHUR BARTENSTEIN won a Founders’ Award for his dedicated service to HLF.

Spring Events Canceled Due To Pandemic

Historic Lexington Foundation has presented its 2020 Founders’ Awards for excellence in historic preservation to Arthur Bartenstein and Richard “Dick” Barnes.

Normally the awards would have been presented at HLF’s annual membership meeting that was scheduled for early April, but the meeting was canceled because of the ongoing pandemic.

A landscape architect, Bartenstein served for many years on the board of HLF. He has been instrumental in preservation and conservation efforts throughout Rockbridge County, including HLF’s efforts to preserve the historic McDowell Cemetery near Fairfield.

According to Barbara Walsh, executive director of the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, “Arthur Bartenstein is one of the rare community members who combines considerable expertise in both environmental protection and historic preservation with a passion for community service.”

His efforts have included the Woods Creek Restoration Program, revisions to Lexington’s and Rockbridge County’s zoning ordinance and comprehensive plan, and work for a master plan for Jordans Point Park.”

HLF Executive Director Don Hasfurther added that, as a member of the Lexington Architectural Review Board, Bartenstein has brought to the ARB an important and sensitive understanding of Lexington’s historic architecture. “His understanding of the finer aspects of historic preservation has helped guide the ARB over the last two years,” notes Hasfurther.

Barnes, meanwhile, has brought a critical understanding and interpretation of the area’s historic preservation activities. According to Brownsburg community resident Paul Hahn and longtime acquaintance of Barnes, “Dick was an early activist in the renaissance of Brownsburg village, restoring homes, including his residence, and establishing the only business in the village — Old South Antiques. He demonstrated his interest in the community by founding the Brownsburg Community Association and the Brownsburg Museum to foster the culture and preserve the history of the community.”

Additionally, Barnes supervised the renovations, decorating and furnishing of the Thomas U. Walter designed c. 1840 old Rockbridge County Jail when it was the headquarters of the Kappa Alpha Order and then assisted with merging and cataloging the Kappa Alpha Order and Mulberry Hill collections.

The HLF annual meeting that had been scheduled for historic Sunnyside would have provided the opportunity to address the accomplishments of the previous year and future planned activities. Hasfurther had planned to discuss HLF’s 2019 efforts to focus attention on the importance of preserving the area’s historic barns. Among the barn-related events undertaken by the HLF board was a Beverly Tucker curated barn exhibit at the Rockbridge Historic Society’s Campbell House. The exhibit catalog, designed by HLF board member Bob Keefe, is available at HLF’s office at hlf@rockbridge.net or by calling 463-6823.

In late 2019, HLF established a partnership with Virginia Humanities to undertake a project to document slave dwellings in Rockbridge County. Representatives of the two organizations visited four slave dwellings in the Brownsburg area and included the visit in a joint workshop in early 2020 on documenting slave dwellings. In the process, HLF received two Lyle-Simpson Preservation Fund applications for two of the Brownsburg slave dwellings. Plans are to revisit those structures once the health crisis subsides.

Additionally, Hasfurther notes that HLF had also planned two important presentations for National Preservation Month in May.

“Regrettably, we have had to postpone both due to the pandemic,” he stated. The first presentation would have had been given by Lucia “Cinder” Stanton, former Shannon Senior Historian at Monticello’s Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Now a Lexington resident, Stanton was to have addressed her many years of work interpreting Monticello’s Mulberry Row and its slave history.

The other presentation that had to be postponed would have been given by Williams College professor Charles Dew and author of “A Bond of Iron,” a study of the relationship between master and slave at Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County. HLF had scheduled the presentation for Falling Spring Presbyterian Church to be followed by a visit to the extant slave dwellings at Buffalo Forge. “I was particularly saddened to have to cancel this event and hope that we can reschedule a visit by Dr. Dew,” said Hasfurther.

A review of HLF’s continuing and future activities can be seen on the organization’s website www.historiclextington.org.

The News-Gazette

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