Montgomery Hall Park Nationally Recognized
MARCH 6, 2018 — Montgomery Hall Park is now on the National Register of Historic Places, an official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.
The National Park Service approved the addition to the National Register in mid-February. It's the second historical designation for Montgomery Hall Park, as it was added to the Virginia Landmarks Register last summer.
City Council directed staff to seek both historic designations for the park in 2016. City staff worked with numerous local historians to draft applications for the state and federal registers, resulting in the successful addition to both programs.
“I am so pleased that Montgomery Hall Park has been added to the National Register of Historic Places,” said Mayor Carolyn Dull. “Montgomery Hall is an integral part of Staunton’s history as well as a historic location for many African-American families throughout Virginia and beyond. I am grateful to everyone who worked so diligently to achieve this designation.”
About Montgomery Hall Park
The City purchased 148 acres of land in 1946 during the Jim Crow segregation era for use as a park for the local African-American community, and it continued in that manner until 1969, when it was desegregated and incorporated into the rest of the City park system.
The park’s significance stretched across the state due to the shortage of public parks that were accessible to African-American citizens in most Virginia communities. Montgomery Hall Park was one of very few parks in Virginia that African Americans could visit, and therefore drew visitors by the busload from all over the Commonwealth. Summer visitation numbers reached past 18,000 thanks to the park’s distinct attractiveness and size, plus numerous amenities, including a swimming pool, playgrounds, music and dancing in the park’s historic, two-story brick mansion—a former residence now also included on the National Register—and more.
About the Virginia Landmarks Register & the National Register of Historic Places
The Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places are honorary programs intended to recognize the cultural significance of historic properties to Virginia’s and the nation’s heritage. The national and state registers are official lists of places identified as having architectural, archaeological or historical significance at the local, state or national level.
Ruth Jones Turner