Berryville, VA

The Josephine City Museum, completed in 2002, is the cultural center of the African American settlement in Berryville, Virginia known as Josephine City. The building which served as the African American School for Berryville until the 1950’s was in dilapidated condition when local residents formed a non-profit to restore the building and convert it into a museum to document the history of Josephine City and the African American community in Clarke County. The building is 1,284 sf, split into two equal rooms with a small appendage. One side was for agricultural education for men, the other for domestic education for women. The project program lent itself to this configuration with the men’s side providing a multi-purpose gathering space for lectures, meetings and community events and the women’s side for museum space and interpretation space. An accessible toilet was designed to fit within the existing appendage addition. A carefully concealed accessible route was designed to integrate with the landscape without the use of a ramp to preserve the look of the building. Extensive structural repairs, HVAC, electrical, plumbing infrastructure installation, and building envelope repair and enhancement were all part of the project. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources holds an easement on the property so all work was reviewed and approved by that agency.

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