RICHMOND-Governor McDonnell and Mrs. McDonnell are pleased to announce the launch of the Year of the Historic Home website. In September, Governor and Mrs. McDonnell signed a proclamation recognizing 2013 as the Year of the Historic Home and the new website, http://www.historicalhomes.virginia.gov/, features information on the participating houses around Virginia and tools for citizens to interact with Virginia’s rich cultural history.
The Governor and First Lady are pleased to initiate this new effort to recognize the importance of the many historic homes around the Commonwealth as they commemorate the bicentennial of the Executive Mansion. Virginia has more than 100 historic homes that span from pre-Colonial times through the Modern era, all of which provide an abundance of cultural, historical, and architectural information and promote an understanding of, as well as an interest in, Virginia’s story. Most of these homes are open to the public as museums and historic sites, and have drawn visitors from around the country and even from around the world. Included on the new website is a video PSA graciously donated by PixelDust studios in Washington DC, featuring First Lady Maureen McDonnell and the voice of Salvatore Vecchio, a voice actor of many National Geographic series.
In addition to the interactive features on the new website, the Virginia Time Travelers Program has also been revived for this initiative and students and families are encouraged to participate. In order to achieve the status of Master Traveler, students must download a passport from the website, visit eight participating homes in Virginia, and mail the completed passport to the Executive Mansion. All Master Travelers will be recognized on the website, receive a certificate signed by the Governor, and be entered to win additional prizes.
Both the website and the Time Travelers Program are part of the initiative supported by the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Association of Museums, and the historic homes in Virginia. By highlighting the educational value of these homes and promoting tourism to the sites, the Governor and the First Lady intend to ensure their vitality and enhance their value as Virginia cultural assets.