RVPF’s President Alison Blanton has written an article for the Roanoke Times on why we should care about historic preservation. She writes ” that ‘sense of place’ maintained through the preservation of buildings, communities, and cultures…helps us feel that we are significant as well. We feel connected not only to our past, but to our surrounding community and environment. Whether it be historic buildings that clearly represent their purpose—in the case of City Hall or St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, with its soaring spires—or pedestrian-scaled streetscapes and small storefronts that encourage us to walk and interact with others, historic buildings continue to be useful and provide an improved quality of life.”
Bravo to Alison for writing such an articulate article. You can read it here.
This year, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation will not be hosting a Downtown Abbey Premiere Party. However, luckily for our supporters and fans of the show, the Alexander Black House and Cultural Center in Blacksburg will be airing a premiere party there at 8:00 pm on January 4th. There will be light refreshments, a costume contest and cash bar and, of course, the premiere of the fifth season. The cost is 20 dollars a person and 35 per couple. For more information, please call 540-558 -0746 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.blacksburghistory.org. Hope to see you there!
The History Ride & Marker Unveiling was a success! In celebration of National Preservation Month the RVPF led a guided bike ride this past May telling the story of historic sites along the way. This free event launched the Roanoke Valley Greenways Historic Trail Marker Program and included a dedication ceremony for our first three markers – American Viscose Corporation, Norwich neighborhood and Elmwood Park. We were honored to have representatives from our partners in attendance – Dr. Rupert Cutler with the Roanoke Arts Commission, Jim Lee with the Roanoke Valley Greenways Commission, and Steve Buschor with the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. Our interpretive marker program will extend throughout the Greenway system, making the Roanoke Valley’s vibrant history more accessible to the public.
In other news Fueling Progress Dinner Lecture was packed with attendees. Guests enjoyed an awesome virtual road trip exploring the history of America’s roadside architecture with Savannah College of Art and Design professor, Robin Williams. Who knew Atlantic City’s Lucy the Elephant was based on Napoleon’s Elephant of the Bastille! A huge thank you to Berglund Automotive for the impeccable and very appropriate venue of Carlin’s Amoco Station as well as Petroleum Specialties and Hill Studio for making this evening possible!
Check out the full newsletter here.
The RVPF celebrates National Preservation Month on Saturday, May 31 with the unveiling of two markers interpreting historic sites along the Roanoke River Greenway. A marker for the American Viscose Corporation, one of Roanoke’s largest industries, will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. at mile marker 25.5 near the 9th Street Bridge. This will be followed by a 5.2-mile bike ride to the second marker at Norwich near Bridge Street. The Norwich neighborhood developed in the early 1900s with many of Roanoke’s earliest industries and worker housing. A third marker was installed earlier this year at Elmwood Park to tell the history of the Terry property that eventually became Roanoke’s first park.
These three markers were made possible by an Arts & Cultural Plan Implementation Grant from the Roanoke Arts Commission and partnerships with Roanoke Valley Greenways and the City of Roanoke Parks & Recreation Department. As part of this project, the RVPF worked with Clay Kerchoff, a student intern from the UVa School of Architecture, to develop a master plan for interpreting
historic sites along the Roanoke Valley Greenway system. The RVPF will continue to seek funding and partnerships to install additional markers along the greenway!
Highlights of this edition of our newsletter include our 100 Years of Fueling Progress dinner at the newly refurbished Carlin’s Amoco Station, the Downtown Abbey Premiere Party, a short piece on the Boones Mill Depot, the dedication of the Gainsboro History Walk, our preservation awards, and as always our list of endangered sites.
Download the Spring 2014 Newsletter