The future of the Augusta County Courthouse will be decided on November 8. If the referendum passes to move the county courts and county seat to Verona, there is no guarantee that the county, the city or private business will ﬁnd a practical use for one of the most signiﬁcant historic properties in our region. Abandonment of the 1901 Courthouse as a functioning court could also threaten the character and viability of other historic properties nearby. Both the city and the county beneﬁt from the preservation of the historic character of downtown Staunton. The daily function and vibrant historic character attracts tourists, as well as businesses, and new residents to both jurisdictions (The economic development link on the county’s website even features a photo of downtown Staunton and lists the courthouse as an attraction).
Only Augusta County residents can vote on the referendum to vacate the existing historic courthouse by building a new one in Verona, but we all can show our support for keeping it as a functioning court and preserving our architectural heritage.
If you are not a county resident here are some of the things you can do: Talk to your friends that live in the county about why you support keeping and rehabilitating the existing courthouse.
- Post your opinions on Facebook at Friends of the Augusta County Courthouse, Keep the Augusta County Courthouse, Common Sense Courthouse Solutions, and Historic Staunton Foundation.
- Make sure your county friends are aware of the referendum, know the facts, and ask if they would like a “VOTE NO” yard sign. (For “Vote No” yard signs, contact Courthouse Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
- Support Historic Staunton Foundation. Know that we are consistently working behind the scenes to make sure that groups that support keeping the courthouse downtown have the preservation and rehabilitation facts they need. To preserve HSF staff-time, we are providing links to those organizations’ websites below and on our website.
- Make your voice heard by attending the public forum tomorrow October from 6 6:30 to 8 P.M.on at Staunton City Council Chambers at which opposing views will be presented.
Paula Rau, President
Historic Staunton Foundation
Common Sense Courthouse Solutions
Keep The Courthouse
Move The Augusta Courthouse