The old Roanoke Photo was destroyed within the past few days and won Green Memorial a Bulldozer Award.^
Thirteen awards for preservation practices and a Bulldozer Award for razing a noteworthy downtown Roanoke structure will be presented by the Preservation Foundation of Roanoke Valley at an annual event Wednesday at the Ansty Hodge Advertising Agency in Roanoke (a winner of one of the awards).
The Bulldozer Award is for the demolition of the former Downtown Learning Center/Roanoke Camera Shop (RoPho) building owned by Greene Memorial United Methodist Church. The 74-year-old structure was placed on the Endangered Sites listing by the Foundation last year.
Once the site of a bicycle shop, a photo finishing business and later a child care center, the building was designed in the Streamline Moderne style, a later variety of Art Deco. It was a contributing building in the Downtown Historic District.
Foundation President Michael Kennedy says, “It’s a pity to lose such a distinctive building. It had a good structure and could have been rehabbed into any number of purposes.” It is likely to become a parking lot.
The primary purpose of the Foundation’s annual awards is to raise public awareness of the value of restoring and reusing older structures and to encourage stewardship and recognize the work of individual preservation efforts.
The preservation award winners are:
Anstey-Hodge Advertising Group, Interactive Design Group, Interactive Achievement, Hanabass & Rowe and The Sanctuary, all adaptive reuse; Mill Mountain Tollhouse and Windsor Apartments, restoration; Barfield, rehabilitation; Salem garden, heritage; Bedford County slave history, education; Florine Thornhill (posthumous), lifetime achievement; Ed Barnett (posthumous), education; and Dr. John Kern, education.
Anstey Hodge firm used historic tax credits to renovate the former Sunoco service station, built in 1950. Located along the Lick Run Greenway on the edge of the Gainsboro neighborhood, the building has also been used by a tire firm and two car-detailing companies.
Interactive Design Group, an architecture firm, occupied the former Fire Station No. 3 at 301 6th Street, in September. The station was used by city firemen from April 12, 1909, to April 15, 2007. Interactive Design had an internal competition to select a design for the historic building. To keep the exterior much as it was in 1909, they replaced front garage bay doors with fixed wooden carriage style doors matching early 1900s designs.
Interactive Achievement, a software company helping teachers gauge student performance on Virginia Standards of Learning, is located in a 1936 building at 601 Campbell Ave., once used by Whaley Brothers Motorcycles, Butterfield Cycle and Delmar Photography. Features of the renovation are a restored two-story store-front, re-creation of an interior mezzanine and retention of a garage door and interior sliding fire door. Jon Hagmaier and his wife, Mary, with two friends started the company in a former motorcycle shop and finally completed renovations early this year.
Hannabass & Rowe was built as a 1932 Art Deco service station with an attached 1943 garage located at 419 Salem Ave., a commercial building in the Salem Avenue/Roanoke Automotive Commercial Historic District. Recently renovated by Key Churchill and two partners, the building has adaptive reuse as a records imaging and storage business.. From its use as an automotive body shop, the restored commercial business will enhance the corner property in an evolving residential/commercial property.
The Sanctuary at 1217 Maple Ave., was built as a church in 1926 and evolved into offices and showroom for Bowles Nelson Powers interior design firm from 1982 to 2009. The building was converted into an assembly space on the main level and mezzanine, with offices on the basement level. The sanctuary will be used for luncheons, weddings, receptions and music events.
The Mill Mountain Tollhouse dates from 1924 when the toll road opened with a charge of 25 cents per car. It was recently restored by a joint effort of the City Parks and Recreation Department and a grassroots fund-raising effort.
Windsor Apartments at 2049 Windsor Ave. in the Raleigh Court area, was purchased and restored by John Garland and his sons, Mark and Aaron Garland, last year. The 16-unit, English Tudor Revival building, constructed in 1928, is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The two-story, stone, brick, half-timbering and stucco building is U-shaped with a courtyard plaza containing stone-paved sidewalks, stone walls, historic post lights and two decorative pools. The building and materials are almost completely original.
Barfield at 2147 Mountain View Road east of Vinton, was listed by the foundation as an endangered site in 2001 when it was known as the Fred Gross home, built in 1864. Owners Lance and DaEva Copperman said they wanted to keep the original character of the two-story farmhouse. They kept the pine floors, original walls, brick from three chimneys and refinished the siding. They are adding a side porch.
Virgil "Bo" Childress, a retired state trooper, works a clean garden in west Salem, typical of family “victory gardens,” more popular as the result of the recession and demand for fresh organic produce grown nearby. His model garden produces quality tomatoes, corn, squash, beans, cucumbers, lettuce, cantaloupes and watermelons and his 20 fruit trees produce cherries, plums, pears, apples and peaches.
Descendants of Roderick Higginbotham of Tyalor's Mountain, Bedford County, Virginia is the title of a remarkable genealogy compiled by B. R. Shrader, a Bedford land surveyor. Shrader worked for almost 20 years, researching nearly 1,000 people spanning 10 generations with over 200 surnames. Roderick Higginbotham, 1815-1885, was a slave sold to James Higginbotham for $615. In 1878, after he was freed, Roderick Higginbotham bought 102 acres on Taylor’s Mountain, east of Montvale. Shrader’s research has added significant historical data about a lost community.
Edward Barnett, a Botetourt County native who died last October, left a meticulous collection of notes and documents preserving the history of black communities in Roanoke and Botetourt. He was 69. The first African-American graduate of James River High School, he served in the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa, studied at the University of Virginia Architecture School and earned a master’s degree at Harvard University School of Design. He practiced architecture in Valdosta, Ga., Beckley, W. Va. and Richmond. He started his own firm in Roanoke and later worked for RRMM Architects in Roanoke.
Florine Thornhill, who died in April, was a leader in cleaning up blighted conditions in the Gilmer Avenue neighborhood of Northwest Roanoke. She started with a church dinner and enlisted volunteers to clean up lots and mow lawns, leading to the formation of the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization. During her 17 years as president of the environmental organization, the group renovated almost a score of houses and built several more.
Dr. John Kern recently retired as director of the Roanoke Regional Preservation Office of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources after opening the office and leading it for 20 years. An historian who earned a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin and worked in preservation in Michigan, Delaware and other places, Kern has a special interest in African-American history. His research has helped preserve black heritage in the Gainsboro neighborhood, Henry, Bedford and Rockbridge counties and other areas of western Virginia.