By Vanessa Richardson
Faculty Mentor: Professor Ana Chichester
Resident Curator Programs (RCP) enable an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization, to serve as the curator of a property. Resident Curator Programs can facilitate preservation of historic properties in a county or region with the goal to rehabilitate and maintain sometimes abandoned or underutilized historic properties and ensure that the public will have scheduled access periodically. This process will not only preserve history but provide much needed context for those who appreciate the historical significance these restored properties. This Capstone focused on the Fairfax County Resident Curator program, an excellent program that is designed to preserve historic properties by offering long-term leases to qualified tenants who agree to rehabilitate and maintain these historic resources in accordance with established preservation standards. A curator can be a private citizen, a non-profit entity, or a for-profit entity. Fairfax County’s RCP is intended to reduce the public costs associated with the care and preservation of the properties by enabling groups or individuals to take over the responsibility. In addition to caring for the day-to-day management of the property, the curators are responsible for the rehabilitation and continued maintenance of the property. Properties that are included in the RCP have been deemed historically significant and meet established criteria of eligibility for curator. Any proposed rehabilitation of these sites must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, and the curator must provide reasonable public access to the property. In return, curators pay no rent as long as they continue to fulfill their contractual obligations. Curators are responsible for upkeep, property maintenance expenses, utilities, and county property taxes.