Waynesboro seeks to revitalize historic Port Republic
WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) – In Waynesboro, city and community leaders held a Thursday-Saturday workshop to find ways to revitalize the city’s historic Port Republic neighborhood.
The African American Historic District is the oldest intact in Waynesboro. It merged as a community in 1870 when formerly enslaved African Americans moved to the area.
Throughout the three-day workshop, residents and community organizations worked with the city to come up with ideas to address residents’ concerns, improve the neighborhood and preserve its history.
“Improving historical signage, historical markers, providing museum exhibits, that sort of thing. And then also the improvement of sidewalks, public space and green spaces, as well as the maintenance of properties. I think property maintenance has been a big theme, especially with away owners,” said Waynesboro community development manager Luke Juday.
Juday said absentee landlords, property maintenance, public infrastructure and lack of connection in the neighborhood were the main concerns for residents.
The workshop discussions will be used to create a community action plan that the city hopes to begin implementing in the coming months.
“I’m thrilled that it’s a place where people can live and that feels three-dimensional, that feels like a place that has a richness that they maybe don’t get in a regular housing lane. I think it’s a good thing for the city,” Juday said.
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