Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Anyone out there think steel bracing beams make a nice home accent?

If there was a recurring theme in last night’s three-hour joint City Council/Planning Commission work session, it might have been this:

If you’re looking for a building with historic ties that was damaged by fire in 2003 and is now being held up by steel beams, Fredericksburg should be on your list of places to visit.

- The city is going to have another go at trying to find a buyer for the Idlewild Mansion. This building served as Robert E. Lee’s headquarters during the Battle of Chancellorsville. The city got it as one of the proffers approved during the rezoning for the Idlewild residential development. In 2007, the city asked for "expressions of interest," in the property. It rejected the only expression it received, from the same firm that renovated the Maury School, because the proposal included too much residential development. Now, the city is going to ask for actual "proposals" for the property, with the goal of having a good option to act on by the end of the year.

- Last night’s festivities included about an hour of discussion about 1200 Prince Edward St. There’s a public hearing Tuesday on whether the city should declare this building a blight. More confusing is what the city should or shouldn’t do if the building is deemed blight. There are a lot of different ways to come at this, and I’m trying to make some sense of them for the weekend papers.