About Us

What is The Victorian Society in America?

The Victorian Society In America is the only national non-profit organization committed to historic preservation, protection, understanding, education, and enjoyment of our nineteenth century heritage.

The VSA was founded in 1966 as a sister organization to the Victorian Society in the U.K., by such legends of historic preservation as Brendan Gill, Henry-Russell Hitchcock, and Margot Gayle.  So outraged were they by the 1964 destruction of New York's magnificent Pennsylvania Station [McKim, Mead, & White, 1910]  that they formed the Society to ensure that other important structures did not fall to the wrecker's ball.

Since then, the VSA has fulfilled its mission through publications, symposia,  architectural tours, and its famous Summer Schools in Newport, Rhode Island & London, England, and has made tremendous contributions to the preservation of many historic buildings.  Indeed, Old House Journal included the founding of the Victorian Society as one of the 25 most significant milestones in American preservation.

There are 15 registered Chapters of the Society around the country hosting a wide range of local events and lectures. There is also an active Summer Schools Alumni Association that sponsors exceptional architectural tours all over the world.

Past Presidents
2010-2014 Tina Strauss, Deerfield, IL
2005-2010  Bruce Davies, Victoria, BC
2001-2005  Patricia Pixley, Omaha, NE
1994-2001  John J. Simonelli, Paterson, NJ
1990-1994  Billie S. Britz, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
1984-1990  Guy Lacy Schless, M.D., Philadelphia, PA
1980-1984  Richard Hubbard Howland, Washington, DC (d. 2006)
1974-1980  William J. Murtagh, Alexandria, VA
1969-1974  Henry-Russell Hitchcock, (d.1987)
1967-1969  J. Stewart Johnson, New York, NY (d. 2006)

 

The VSA Purpose Today

A. To foster public appreciation and understanding of the artistic expression of the Victorian Era in the United States.

B. To engage in and encourage the preservation and the publication of material culture of the Victorian Era, including but not limited to architecture, fine and decorative art, design, planning and technology.

C. To offer educational opportunities for the study of the Victorian heritage through schools, symposia, tours, lectures and other media.

D. To serve as a reservoir of expertise on matters pertaining to Victorian culture, including but not limited to the maintenance of archives, records and reference works concerning Victorian material culture..

From the bylaws of The Victorian Society in America, Inc.

VIEW current VSA by-laws

Board of Directors

Most of the programmatic work of the VSA is conducted by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of twelve committees, each with a specific responsibility. The Board and its committees meet three times a year in various locations. Willingness to work is more improtant than experience.

Current Officers and Directors

If you have any questions about the board or nominations to the board, Charles Robertson, Chair of the Nominating Committee will be pleased to answer them. You may contact Charles at (202) 265-6669 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you are unable to print a nomination form, please contact Charles and he will mail one to you.

NOMINATE an existing VSA member to the Board

VIEW the VSA Board Agreement

VIEW the conditions and guidelines for Advisory Council and Emeriti

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