The Petersburg Preservation Task Force (PPTF) serves as the primary organization preserving, managing, and presenting Petersburg’s rich and unique historic resources. PPTF is a group of citizens – many representing organizations and some simply concerned individuals – that convened in mid-2016 as the City of Petersburg dealt with a severe financial crisis forcing the closing of City Museums in October. In December of that year, PPTF was successful in securing an agreement from the City, re-opened Historic Blandford Church and Centre Hill Museum and has carried out an impressive calendar of special events and activities that have been attended by thousands of visitors. As of July 2018, PPTF re-opened the Exchange Building, formerly, the Siege Museum, following extensive repairs and restoration made possible by not only financial support but also generous contributions of goods and services by businesses and skilled tradesmen and the labor of many citizen volunteers. The highly qualified and experienced museum docents are currently all volunteers.
PPTF is a 501(c)3 organization and has secured an agreement with the City of Petersburg to continue its work through May 202. The PPTF Board is a working board whose members oversee active committees where the work is carried out, largely by volunteers who include business owners, history and preservation enthusiasts, civic leaders, and numerous others who have brought their skills and expertise as valuable resources.
RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCULDE:
GRANTS: SAVING AMERICA’S TREASURES GRANT The PPTF, in partnership with the Historic Petersburg Foundation is proud to announce the award of a $700,000 Grant, with $350,000 coming from The National Park Service and a Matching Grant from The Cameron Foundation and supported by the City of Petersburg. The grant is for the restoration and renovation of the Exchange Building and work has already begun.
MARKETING: Through an effective marketing strategy funded by a generous grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation, visitation to our three Museum Site increased by 60% over previous years.
FACILITIES: A city-wide Visitors Center which has been visited by thousands, has been established in the Exchange Building, located at 15 W. Banks Street, where an exhibit titled “400 years of Petersburg History” in on display. Opening in early 2021, is our Rotunda Exhibit, showing how Petersburg was one of the first “Seats of Commerce”.
FUNDRAISING AND EXPENDITURES: All of this has been accomplished through raising over $500,000 while keeping costs less than 30% of previous annual spending.
In addition to successfully re-opening and operating museums and offering a variety of programs such as Mercy Street Teas and walking tours, PPTF has undertaken a professional inventorying and cataloguing of Petersburg’s historic archives. Thousands of items have been moved, largely by volunteers using their own equipment, to improved, secure settings to ensure their preservation for future presentation and interpretation.
PPTF is also promoting visitation to the City through active collaboration with the National Park Service, Friends of the Historic Farmers Bank, state and regional tourism efforts, and historical organizations, and businesses, particularly in Old Towne Petersburg.
PPTF has identified numerous opportunities for telling a more complete story of Petersburg’s rich and unique history and has effectively engaged nationally recognized organizations and individuals to provide in valuable guidance and support. Efforts are being undertaken to secure funding as well as leverage other resources to illuminate additional historic treasures. Much of what PPTF is undertaking is strategically designed to create conditions that will allow preservation and heritage tourism efforts to flourish in the longer term and, in so doing, create jobs, increase revenues to the area, and be sustained far into the future.
Our Board of Directors
Dean McCray President & Facilities Chair
Dr Lisa Jordan Vice President & Museum Chair
Robert Blount Treasurer
Lisa Bergstrom Former Liaison to Preservation Virginia
Lucius Edwards Programs & Exhibit Chair
Louis Malon Facilities & Finance Vice Chair HPF Liaison
Andrea Huntjens Secretary & Fundraising-Events Chair
Angela Bechtold Marketing Chair
Beverly Coleman Finance Chair
Andrew Cushen Director
David McCormack Honorary & Consultant
Martha M Atkinson Director of Museums
Kate Sangregorio City of Petersburg Liaison
Petersburg Preservation Task Force is a 501 C 3 organization.
Tax deductible donations can be made to
Petersburg Preservation Task Force
P.O. Box 2093
Petersburg, Va 23804