DMF's Restoration Action Plan 2024

For the first time since 2021 the DMF might have a chance to acquire and restore the mansion!

The investor group that owns the mansion and hundreds of surrounding acres is considering selling the mansion and a small number of acres separate from its current multi-million dollar listing through Sotheby's.

While several factors have to align to make this chance a reality for the DMF, we have designed a rehabilitation action plan - listed below. The AP outlines our intentions, restoration phase outline and business plan.

Our unique approach is to repurpose the mansion into a not-for-profit business that can sustain its care in perpetuity and highlighting the priceless history of this beautiful house. While it would never be sustainable as a historic house museum it could live on as an event space where the public can enjoy the quiet surroundings, explore the local community, play a round of golf right outside the door and appreciate how historic restoration can be incorporated with building rehabilitation.

We have obtained the services of a restoration-centric contractor out of the Richmond area. This team of professionals has devoted 100+ hours into the estimation of total cost. They are 75% complete on the calculation of final numbers. The overall projected project cost (mansion and historic grounds) is $5 - 6 million.

Proposed Funding Sources

Congressionally Directed Spending grant (earmarks) - application is underway and  due April 5th, 2024. 

Tobacco Commission grant - potential funding (we meet qualifications for application in 2025)

Private donations and crowdsourcing fundraising campaigns - coming soon!!!

Private rentals of mansion for artists/films - We are listed though the Film Office of Virginia, Giggster and Peerspace.We have had fantastic success in all of these listings.

Historical Tours
- We have completed six historical tours of the mansion and grounds in its abandoned state with a seventh scheduled

National historic preservation grants - private and government

Phase 1: Acquisition 

Purchasing the mansion and surrounding acreage to encompass road frontage and the historic garden area.

The first step is bringing the mansion under nonprofit ownership. 

As a 501c3 nonprofit, controlled by a board of directors we are uniquely positioned to ensure that historical character is preserved during the rehabilitation process.

Private individuals or investor groups have far less accountability and often less interest in the preservation of local history and culture.

Phase 2: Stabilization

Roof and gutter repair
Masonry - front porch
Window replacement
Floor - safety and  stabilization
Walls/ceilings - safety and stabilization 
County water and sewer hookup Upgrading electrical and plumbing
Heating and HVAC systems
Basic grading, grounds cleanup and maintenance

Phase 3: Interior/Exterior Restoration and Garden/Grounds Reclamation

Interior and exterior restoration to original condition with modern upgrades.

The DMF does not intend to adhere to strict historical standards due to budgeting considerations. We are not intending this to be a historic house museum, but a modernized multi-use community and event center. We would like to make it as period correct as possible to preserve the historic culture of this beautiful place but with a fiscally responsible approach.

Grounds/garden restoration with period-correct considerations. Parking lot and outdoor event structure construction.