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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Idlewild on state landmarks register

It’s been in ruins since 2003, but the Idlewild mansion, or Downman House, is now on the Virginia Landmarks Register. The remains of the 1859 Gothic Revival home weren’t put on the register for their architectural significance–there’s not that much of them left–but for their historical importance. 

As Senior City Planner Erik Nelson wrote in the application that got the home listed, "As a scene of battle action during the Chancellorsville campaign, Idlewild became a battlefield landmark, noted by troops on both sides. It also served as the headquarters for Confederate General Robert E. Lee on May 4-5, 1863, at the conclusion of the campaign."

The city had been trying to find a private buyer to rehabilitate the property, but put that process on hold. The last story we wrote about it is here. I am told city officials may be talking to at least one interested party about the house, but no deal is imminent.

The property will now be considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.