Virginia State Capitol: National Historic Landmark to World Heritage Site?
The Virginia State Capitol in Richmond houses the oldest legislative body derived from European colonization in the western hemisphere. The Virginia House of Burgesses (now the Virginia General Assembly) was established in 1619 when Virginia was still a British colony. After several iterations, the overall building complex currently serving as the Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson. The Capitol recently was expanded with the inclusion of an underground visitor center and additional office and meeting space in 2007. Known primarily for its time as the capital of the Confederacy during the US Civil War, the National Park Service recently expanded acknowledgment of its broader historic significance by naming it a National Historic Landmark. The National Park Service also is proposing to add the Virginia State Capitol to the World Heritage list, but incorporating it into the World Heritage listing of Monticello and the University of Virginia, also by Jefferson.
By Gregory S. Schneider
The Washington Post
January 11, 2017