- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG (AP) — Colonial Williamsburg wants to sell the historic Carter’s Grove Plantation, but not before a historical review that will likely protect the 18th century mansion and surrounding 400 acres from development.

“We need to consult with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the state Department of Historic Resources to determine what restrictions we’ll put on the property,” said Colin Campbell, chairman and president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “We have quite a lot to do.”

The James City County property, built by one of Virginia’s founding families, is assessed at $12.5 million. But the asking price has not been discussed, Mr. Campbell said Friday.

The James River property was purchased in 1709 by Virginia planter Robert “King” Carter. The house was completed in 1755 for Carter Burwell, Mr. Carter’s grandson, and has gone through a succession of owners. The foundation has owned the 35-room, two-story plantation home and the land between Williamsburg and Newport News since 1969.

The foundation reconstructed an 18th century slave house and taught visitors about the life and work of slaves on the plantation.

The foundation cited financial pressure when announcing plans in 2002 to close Carter’s Grove to the public. The home was shuttered in 2003.

Foundation spokesman Tom Shrout said the sale has nothing to do with the economics at Colonial Williamsburg. Paid attendance at the 301-acre living history park has decreased in recent years — from 1.2 million in the 1980s to just more than 700,000 in recent years.

“We simply believe that our interpretation of the 18th century needs to be in the historic area,” he said.

Mr. Campbell said the foundation anticipates the property will become a private residence.

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