Built in the 1920's as a department store in Marion, Virginia's historic downtown, this building still had much of its historic fabric, including a handsome pressed tin ceiling. The owner wanted to transform the space into a pizza restaurant featuring a large selection of beers on tap. To minimize distance between keg and tap, the cooler was set in the middle of the main space and wrapped with a bar. Seating is available at the bar as well as at tables and in booths. A mezzanine at the back of the building affords a semi-private dining area for parties and meetings.
Built as a Montgomery Ward Department Store in 1930, this downtown Roanoke building boasts handsome brick and terra cotta Art Deco facades. Its interior is dominated by a three-story atrium topped with a large barrel vault skylight. The building was converted to an office building in 1980; in 2015, its use changed again, this time as apartments on the three upper levels and artists’ studios on the lower level.
The project’s scope included new plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems, traffic-bearing skylights in the atrium floor (to provide daylight to the lower level), and a roof deck for tenants. All work was done in accordance with National Park Service Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. The building is now known as The Aurora.
Bolling Wilson Hotel
Built in 1926 as the George Wythe Hotel, this four-story neo-classical hotel was the dominant structure on Wytheville, Virginia’s Main Street. After thirty years as a banking facility, the hotel was resurrected in 2014 as the Bolling Wilson Hotel (named for Edith Bolling Wilson, the First Lady who grew up in Wytheville).
The building was renovated to preserve its defining architectural features, while providing the amenities of a 21st century hotel. A large port-au-cochere, kitchen, and roof deck were added.
The completed project qualified for both state and federal historic preservation tax credits.
Emory & Henry Physical Therapy School
Emory & Henry College and Mountain States Health Alliance collaborated to allow the College to transform the former Smyth County Community Hospital into a College of Health Sciences. The first facility for the School of Health Sciences in Marion, Virginia, was the adaptive re-use of what had been the hospital's Education Building and Central Stores as the first phase of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. The lower level accommodates an Anatomy Lab, a Gait Lab, and two Skills Labs, as well as locker rooms and a break area. The second floor was built to provide offices, a student lounge, and a large Skills Lab.
Francis Brothers Hardware Store was a local icon for almost 80 years. When the brothers closed in 2014, the building’s first floor begged to be adapted to apartments. The second floors were built as apartments. Local developers rose to the challenge and created high-ceiling, light-filled apartments out of the first floor retail space. The second floor simultaneously received substantial renovations in the style of the original apartments, with oak floors, plaster walls, two-panel doors, and wide trim.
A 1970’s infill between the two main buildings was re-opened to create a courtyard for tenants. The site was renovated with large landscaped areas which define the parking and drives. The work was designed to satisfy the requirements of the National Park Service’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
KG Properties - Dental & Eye
A Marion dental practice and a Marion ophthalmology practice were interested in co-locating on a site on North Main Street in Marion. Each of the practices had a need for approximately 5,000 square feet of office space. A two-story building with a basement was deemed to be the most sensible configuration for the selected site.
The project has an Arts and Craft flavor to its detailing and is clad with brick and cementitious lap and board-and-batten siding. Wide overhangs, with accent bracketing at the gable ends, reinforce the allusion to the Arts and Craft period, while also effectively shading the second story windows.
Both floors feature roomy, daylit waiting areas, circular reception desks and a racetrack internal corridor configuration. High-efficiency lighting, heat pumps and gas furnaces with smart controls, and a well insulated building envelope combine to keep operating costs on the building very low. Off-street parking for over 50 cars, and a circular drop-off drive, are features of the visually prominent site.
Marion Farmers Market
The desire to create a truck-accessible farmers’ market and preserve existing parking were both satisfied by converting a portion of a surface parking lot to a market pavilion so as to maintain the existing parking spaces and traffic lanes. A permanent toilet and covered performance area adjacent to the market supports the market function, again with minimal displacement of existing parking.
General streetscape improvements include new sidewalks with brick paver detailing, trees, planters and period street lighting. Overhead power and telephone lines have generally been relocated below grade.
One special component of the streetscape work was the closing of an alley known as Iron Street, between Main and Court Streets. Due to the steepness of the grade, the opportunity presented itself to create a loading dock for the local theatre (The Lincoln) and to create a terraced pedestrianway which connects a parking garage to Main Street. This pedestrianway can also serve as an outdoor market and performance/film venue.
Oak Hill Academy Faculty/Staff Housing
Oak Hill Academy, a boarding high school in Grayson County, Virginia, needed new housing for faculty and staff. The configuration which best met the Academy's needs was a triplex with one three-bedroom and two one-bedroom apartments. The campus rests on a knoll with expansive views of the Southwest Virginia Mountains, so windows and outdoor space affording great views were important to the owner. The first triplex was built on the west edge of the campus, with views to the south and west. The second triplex (a mirror image of the first) is on the east end of campus and has long panoramic views to the east, south, and west.
Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts
Smyth County’s first public high school was built in Marion in 1908. It subsequently served as an elementary school, the School Board’s Central Office, a public library, and a museum. In 2010, the building underwent the first phase of its renovation as a school to promote traditional Appalachian music and handicrafts; this phase, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, restored the building’s exterior to approximate its original appearance.
In 2014, a major interior renovation was undertaken which converted the ground floor level to shops for woodworking, instrument-making, cooking/canning, and printmaking. The first floor has a reception area, a gift shop, offices, and studios. The second floor has classrooms and offices for The Summit, which provides a Smyth County campus for the Virginia Community College System. The original auditorium/physical education space on this level will provide a small performance space. The Town of Marion, on behalf of the School, applied for and received renovation grants from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and from the Appalachian Regional Commission for this phase of construction.