WalMart vs. Preservationists at Civil War Site

In Orange County, Virginia, a battle is heating up at the site of the civil war's Battle of the Wilderness. The Board of Supervisors has approved a WalMart nearby, but preservationists are challenging the decision in court.
April 21, 2010, 9am PDT | Tim Halbur
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Battlefield Protection Program, Virginia senators Mark Warner (D) and Jim Webb (D), then-Gov. Tim Kaine (D), the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, William J. Howell (R), and 250 historians voiced their opposition to the plan but the Board of Supervisors still approved the WalMart proposal 4-1.

Christopher Shea writes, "...the battle over a Wilderness Walmart spotlights a fundamental concern: How should land adjacent to crucial historic sites be treated? No one thinks the proposed construction area should become a national park-there is no federal money to buy it, in any case-but surely middle ground exists between that and a supermall? "We have to get out of the zookeeper mentality," says the Park Service's [Russ] Smith, "where we cage certain areas and forget about whatever happens outside that cage.""

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Published on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 in Preservation Magazine
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