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Things to do in Roanoke

    Art Museum of Western Virginia Taubman Museum of Art Roanoke, Virginia
    The Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke, Virginia was originally called the Art Museum of Western Virginia, and had been located in the city's Center in the Square, but in 2008 moved into its own new structure with 66,000 square feet of exhibition space, and cost $66 million. It is now called the Taubman in honor of Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman and his wife, Jenny, who were the biggest donors; and the owners of the Advance Auto centers. Their permanent collection concentrates on the art of America, but with a special emphasis on western Virginia and Appalachian region artworks. There are outstanding works included that were created by Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins. The museum started in 1947, as an offshoot of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with a small exhibit in the Hotel Roanoke, and by 1951 had spun off to become its own independent organization. In 1980, it would become the Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, it moved into downtown to the Center in the Square in 1983. It would become the Art Museum of Western Virginia in 1992, and has kept that name ever since, with just the location changing, for the better. Current exhibitions include the spectacular Fallen, by Jane Hammond, which is an ongoing installation work, since it concerns the remembrance and memorialization of the men and women that have died for their country in Iraq. It had been originally shown in 2005, with a wall text that said, "each unique handmade leaf is inscribed by the artist with the name of a U. S. soldier killed in Iraq." The unique artwork is first digitally scanned and then printed, of a leaf, then Jane works meticulously until the photo is turned into a life like sculptural object by the shape, thickness and color of each object. When it premiered in New York in 2005, there were 1511 leaves and in 2007 was acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art. In the fall of 2008, the artwork was on view at the Roanoke College, and Jane went collecting leaves from the area to be included in the installation. The exhibit opened at the Taubman in the end of September, 2010, with over 4200 leaves installed on a pedestal about 30 feet long. It has been six years since Jane started the project, and she is determined and dedicated to finishing the installation when the war ends, although it officially has, we will never be sure, and Jane continues to create new leaves every week for the installation. Another exhibit is the Jae Ko: Paper, which highlights another contemporary artist that uses rolled paper soaked in water for a certain period of time, with the water containing sumi ink or natural dyes that form spare, fluid-like sculptural objects. In her wall and floor works, the unusual rolls of varying lengths and widths absorb the odd appearance of three dimensional objects, both manmade and mechanical, creating a fluidity of time, space and shapes. Another excellent exhibit is the James Grashow: The Corrugated Fountain that has James working with various media that addresses the themes of man, mortality and nature and is another exciting and thought provoking work that causes the visitors to stop, look and ponder the sight before them. A great museum to visit anytime of the year, but these above exhibits won't be there for too long, so hurry while they are.

    O. Winston Link Museum
    O. Winston Link Museum Roanoke, VirginiaThe O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia is dedicated to the photography of O. Winston Link, the 20th century railroad photographer that is believed to be the master of juxtaposition between steam railroading and rural culture. The museum is located in the downtown of Roanoke, in a restored Norfolk and Western Railway passenger train station that was opened in 2004, and it is the perfect place for his photographs. There are hundreds of the magnificent prints with numerous interactive displays that contain audio so that you can gain some insight and information about the photographer's subjects. There is an excellent documentary film called, "What a Picture I Got" that shows every hour on the hour starting at 11 AM and continuing until 4 PM. Link's photos incorporate the lives of folks that are living or having fun, or just staring at the railroad, as it passes by and he seems to know just when to snap the shot, creating such a beautiful moment in life that is not possible with any other medium. He was there for the last days of the Norfolk and Western's transfer to diesel engines from steam, that happened during the 1950s, at a time when live was slower and somehow more personal, more natural. Like many photographers have learned through experience, photos are much more interesting when there are people involved in the photo, living their lives along the tracks that brought the trains into their lives for just a moment and then gone, just like our lives are lived, living each moment, only to lose it within moments of something unique happening. Like the old guy and his son or grandson holding a lantern in the dark night on a lonely stretch of railroad tracks as the train goes whistling by, only to leave them in exactly the same place, wondering all kinds of things about the train, the people on it and where it is going. Or the clothesline hanging off a shack next to the tracks on a mountainside. The images are very thought provoking and often intense, helping you to realize how and why this amazing man loved to take pictures of life, stolen moments in time, that are now available for all to visit and enjoy, wondering if they can understand the moment that the picture was taken. A great and different kind of museum, one that is a wonderful place to visit and wonder.

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    Betty Branch Sculpture Studio & GalleryBetty Branch Sculpture Studio & Gallery Roanoke, Virginia
    Betty Branch attended Hollins University, and received her BA and MA degrees there, becoming quite proficient in sculpture and painting, going on to get the finest academic training in the country, becoming an apprentice to gain her technical skills at the Miles and Generalis Sculpture Services in Philadelphia. She continued to advance her skills by going to Italy, Greece and the Bahamas, expanding her knowledge of art history and art techniques. During a thirty year period she concentrated on the female form, eventually being able to define the female rites of passage in traditional and unorthodox media that includes; straw, terra cotta, stone, earthenware, bronze, fiber and ceramic. Her art has won awards around the world, as well as being the source of many documentaries. Her works, from the smallest to the grandest can be seen in many types of environments in the private sector, museum collections, corporate and university settings. She runs her own studio and gallery, after producing many commissioned works, single and group exhibitions, and has been included in many international and national publications.

     Virginia Museum of Transportation
    Virginia Museum of Transportation Roanoke, Virginia
    The Virginia Museum of Transportation is dedicated to the transportation industry and is found in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, starting out in 1963 as the Roanoke Transportation Museum located in Wasena Park in Roanoke. The museum had been located in the old Norfolk and Western Railway freight depot that sat by the banks of the Roanoke River. The earliest relics in the museum included a U. S. Army Jupiter rocket and the famous N & W J class locomotive #611, that was donated by the railroad to the city where numerous locomotives had been built. As the museum grew, it began to incorporate other pieces of rail equipment and then horse-drawn carriages that included a Studebaker wagon, hearse and covered wagon. A flood arrived in 1985 and almost destroyed the museum and a lot of its collection, forcing the museum to shut down and having to restore #611. The museum reopened in 1986, in the old freight depot and gaining the recognition of the General Assembly of the state as it was made the official transportation museum for the commonwealth. The marvelous collection still has the #611, but it also has added the A Class #1218 from Norfolk and Western, along with a gallery of aviation products and an automobile gallery that opened in 2007. The two engines are without a doubt the main features of the massive collection, however, there are more than 50 other pieces of rolling stock that have been added. Some of the more noteworthy are the Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 locomotive, a Virginia Railway SA class steam locomotive, a D. C. Transit Company PCC streetcar and a Virginia Railway El-C electric engine. Other, smaller pieces include the armored car that had been used to highlight the Bill of Rights in 1991, a 1913 Metz, a highway Post Office bus and a 1920 Buick touring car. In the Automobile gallery, the first exhibit is From Mud to Mobility: A History of the Virginia Department of Transportation; and the floor has been painted to reflect the theme of the exhibit. It starts out with a dirt road and then gradually changes to a full fledged interstate highway. The state department of transportation sponsors the exhibit, with motorized dioramas, billboards, a video history of the department and Birmashave signs, with more antique autos displayed here. There are also five other galleries that showcase sundry aspects of the railroading life in America, especially in Virginia. Besides these outstanding exhibits, the museum has a wonderful and exciting O-gauge train laid out that was modeled after the Roanoke, Salem and Lynchburg, Virginia railroad. The other exhibits include; Big Lick that is a marvelous exhibit that showcases a 1930s rural train depot, with telegrapher's office, time tables, freight scales and velocipede hand car that was used to service the tracks. Working the High Iron-A pictorial history of the Norfolk and Western Railway with many photos of the men and women that worked for the railroad during its years of operation. And the African American Heritage on the N and W railroad- 1930-1970 and Clayton Brothers- Virginians Building America's Railroad.

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Local Restaurants in Roanoke

    Montano's
    House Specialties; filet mignon 10oz., atop garlic smashed potatoes then topped with mesquite grilled asparagus & Maytag bleu cheese drizzled with bleu cheese demi; NY strip 14oz., double rib pork chop is spice encrusted grilled chop served with garlic smashed potatoes & apple chutney; sirloin 10oz. grilled & topped with bousin cheese served over garlic smashed potatoes with house veggies; stuffed salmon stuffed with sautéed spinach & Italian cheese baked golden; baby back ribs; Cuban palomilla is NY strip marinated cut very thin & grilled quickly, served with platter full of fried potatoes & bananas topped with mojo crudo; raspberry duck is boneless breast of duck grilled, sliced & put atop sweet potato hay then drizzled with raspberry sauce; sea bass captain's cut is sea bass with Oriental miso soy glaze, with Italian risi bisi rice & oriental snow peas; divers scallops are seared with fresh button mushrooms in light cream sauce over angel hair pasta; ahi Oscar is thick cut tuna steak blackened then topped with sweet jumbo lump crabmeat & mesquite grilled asparagus; lump crab cake is Maryland bluefin crab with select eastern shore spices lightly breaded served with housemade slaw, risi bisi rice & creamy remoulade sauce; Cajun jambalaya with blackened jumbo shrimp is spice rice filled with chicken & sausage surrounded with blackened jumbo shrimp; Spanish paella combining jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, black mussels, smoked sausages & chicken breast in spicy yellow rice & peas with roasted red peppers; stuffed flounder Pontchartrain is fresh flounder filet packed with seasoned crab stuffing topped with Pontchartrain sauce, shrimp, diced tomatoes, spring onion & fresh mushrooms; traditional stuffed flounder; broiled flounder with baked potato & house veggies.

    202 Market
    Appetizers; house citrus cured salmon, pickled red onion, capers, chopped egg; butter poached lobster, corn, butternut squash, shellfish emulsion; fried prawns, arugula, scallion, tomato bacon coulis; calamari with crispy fried spicy pepper aioli. Greens; spinach with roasted red pepper, bacon-sherry vinaigrette; arugula, light parmigiana cheese dressing; ruby beets, spiced walnut, greens, creamy bleu cheese; grilled romaine, parmesan black pepper, lemon vinaigrette; Caesar is chopped romaine, Caesar dressing, parmigiano-reggiano. Entrees; grilled swordfish, bruschetta, roasted red peppers, saffron rice; Maryland style crab cakes, corn, pepper relish, bacon beurre blanc; pan seared rainbow trout, grilled corn, asparagus, bacon, sweet onions emulsion; filet 8 or 10oz., baby portabellas, wilted spinach, rutabaga, red wine reduction; airline chicken breast, roasted Brussels sprouts, applewood smoked bacon, pumpkin puree; pork tenderloin, walnut spaetzle, greens, citrus blackberry gastrique.

Spice Encrusted Pork Chop Montano's Roanoke, Virginia

 

Duck Raspberry Montano's Roanoke, Virginia

 

Stuffed Flounder Montano's Roanoke, Virginia

 Grilled Swordfish 202 Market Roanoke, Virginia

 

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    Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium Science Museum of Western Virginia & Hopkins Planetarium Roanoke, Virginia
    The Science Museum of Western Virginia started in 1970 led by teachers and community volunteers, to offer alternative and informal science experiences that augment the education of it in the classrooms, and is now the oldest science museum in the state. It has continued to grow and expand, moving into the Center in the Square in 1983, and transforming the former museum into one that is more encompassing, with a new planetarium and more interactive exhibits. In 1995, the facility enjoyed a large restoration, as it celebrated its 25th anniversary, and is now one of the less than 5 % of science museums in the nation that are accredited by the American Association of Museums. In 2006, the museum received a new leader that brought more energy and polarization of its mission, and currently is looking at plans to enhance and enlarge the facility and its exhibits. The museum's interactive galleries offer outstanding experiences as you explore the universe of science, with several experimental galleries and numerous permanent ones. One of the really exciting experimental exhibits is the ITT night vision and imaging display that offers visitors the opportunity to see what is "out there" in the darkness of the night, using modern technologically advanced equipment that shows you exactly what is around you in the dark. Another is Big Mouth, which is a 7 foot tall "big mouth" that has 39 points of interaction where you are asked questions via a screen at the back of the mouth; all to help you and your family learn more about the effects of poor oral health. It is a marvelous example of modern creativity that helps everyone learn more about their mouth health and ways to keep diseases and cavities from attacking it. This exciting exhibit welcomes over 150,000 visitors each year, and is computer linked and equipped so that the program changes periodically for visitors so that they will learn more each time they come. Permanent galleries include; the Living River, Geology gallery, Body Tech, live animals, earth treasures, weather gallery and light and sound arcade. Every one of these displays offer the family more information to make their lives easier, healthier and more enjoyable, with changing exhibits coming in to complement those permanent ones already here.  In the Hopkins Planetarium, you'll really experience the stars and skies under their 40 foot star dome, with outstanding multimedia shows that help you discover the universe you live in and the beautiful sights that can be seen. You will enjoy sky lore of various cultures, learning about the cosmic forces at work and the numerous seasonal changes and sights that are available for your instruction and enjoyment. Some of the exciting shows offered here include; Moonwitch, the Sky Above Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the Cowboy astronomer, Sky Cycles, Worlds in Motion, Follow the Drinking Gourd, Visions of a Spring Night, Autumn Skies, Seasonal Star Shows, Megadome Theater, WSKY: Radio Station of the Stars and a megadome show called "Dinosaurs Alive!".

    Mill Mountain Zoo
    Milll Mountain Zoo Roanoke, VirginiaThe Mill Mountain Zoo is so named because it sits on top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, Virginia, opening in 1952 and run by the city for its first 24 years. It would be turned over to the Jaycees in 1976 and they would handle its operations until 1988, when it was then turned over to the nonprofit Blue Ridge Zoological Society (BRZS), that still takes care of its operations and management. There was some talk about moving the location of the zoo since there isn't anymore room available on the mountain top, but has since been rethought and another plan called Zoo 2001 that began being implemented in 1991. There have been numerous additions to the zoo since 2008, and these include; the reptile house, new holding and quarantine buildings that hold the new arrival and aviary birds during the cold seasons of the winter; red wolf exhibit, interactive aviary, new animal clinic, Canadian lynx exhibit, Eurasian black vulture exhibit and the black tufted marmoset exhibits; forcing the Burmese pythons being moved into the reptile house. There are some very notable animals housed here and include; Frump Frump was a donated African elephant from a passing circus in 1970, encouraging 107,000 visitors coming here to see her mostly, although she died after being here for only a short time; Oops is the Japanese macaque that had escaped her cage in 2006 and made the national news before she would be recaptured within a week; Ruby had been the Siberian tiger that was given to the zoo after local police officers found her in Danville, Virginia being kept illegally, but she would pass on in 2006; Zoo Choo the original gas powered Model G-16 miniature train that had an engine, observation car and two passenger cars, which was moved to the Virginia Museum of Transportation in 2007 and replaced with a newer model in 2008. The zoo houses 85 animals that represent 35 various species, that include two on the endangered list, the snow leopard and the red panda. The current residents include; black hornbill, tufted deer, Indian crested porcupines, Sichuan takin, golden pheasant, blue billed magpie, snow leopard, screech owl, red panda, Burmese mountain tortoises, cougar, red wolves, Canadian lynx, Asian small clawed otters and Japanese macaques; plus many others. It is a marvelous zoo for the entire family and enjoys a popular standing in the community.

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    Harrison Museum of African American CultureHarrison Museum of African American Culture Roanoke, Viriginia
    The Harrison Museum of African American Culture in Roanoke, Virginia is dedicated to researching, preserving and interpreting the many achievements of the African American population, but more specifically in southwestern Virginia; in the hopes of encouraging all Americans to come together to learn and enjoy the contributions of this great group of Americans. The museum sits on the ground floor of the Harrison School, constructed in 1916 for African American students at the first high school for these individuals, and since it has become such an important and long-lasting venue in the history of these people, it has been made a Virginia Historic Landmark. The permanent collection is filled with memorabilia, items and photographs that pertain to the African American experience in the Roanoke Valley. There are outstanding collections of oral stories and recollections told by elders that enhance the overall experience of these people and help the rest of the nation know more about their plight, struggles and eventual acceptance of sorts in the mainstream of American society. Besides these excellent collections, there are many contemporary works of art in the permanent collection that magnify and clarify the many contributions and help that the African American gave to their country. Opening in 1985, the museum has offered art and historical exhibitions in their galleries and the Hazel B. Thompson Exhibition Room. The collection contains many exciting artifacts that include; bronze sculptures, jewelry, masks, textiles, paintings and furniture from South Africa, Kenya, Zaire, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda and Mozambique.

    History Museum & Historical Society of Western Virginia
    History Museum & Historical Society of Western Virginia Roanoke, VirginiaThe History Museum & Historical Society of Western Virginia is located in Roanoke, Virginia offering visitors and the community a glimpse of the past history of the region and city, along with many outstanding exhibits that complement those artifacts and relics that have been acquired through acquisition and donation through the years. The museum offers tours, lectures, exhibits and more for the visitor wanting to learn more about the region of western Virginia and the Roanoke area. There are also numerous special events that are hosted here for the enjoyment of those coming here for whatever reasons or purposes. There is a marvelous virtual exhibit and collection to enhance the online visitor's experience along with the numerous upcoming events that will increase your knowledge and understanding of the historical events that have helped the area grow and expand. The Watts Family library is another venue offered here, with a wonderful collection of reference materials that include; 8000 documents, 1300 books, 8000 photographs and hundreds of postcards, maps and slides, with many volunteers on hand to assist in any way they can. Another venue offered by the museum is the Crystal Spring Pump Station that is open for tours during May to September, where visitors can watch the actual operation of the huge fly-wheel rotation, pistons pumping constantly and the sound of steam occasionally escaping with a loud hiss. Crystal Spring has been supplying cool clear water for centuries, and when the Scots-Irish immigrants arrived in the mid-1700s, the Evans family would be the first to harness this great power to a grist mill. Ever since that first moment, the spring has been a part of the city's history, and in 1905, the city purchased a Snow Steam Pump from the pump works company in Buffalo, NY; which was a mechanical marvel. The pump's 13 foot diameter, 11 ton flywheel was created to constantly pump 40 revolutions per minute for steady operation, which it did for the next half a century. The pump station is now considered a significant part of the city's history and growth, and after having restored it and the snow steam pump are in working order and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The pump has been realized as one of the final and best examples of a pump of its kind by the Smithsonian Institution.

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    The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins UniversityEleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University Roanoke, Virginia
    The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia has grown into a premiere arts destination that showcases the works of internationally well known artists, regional names and emerging figures. It strives to present works from their permanent collections as well as exhibits that explore the changes in contemporary arts, as well as providing a forum for the creative process and the arts that inevitably enhance the lives of all those that visit here. The museum is found on the first floor of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center on the campus of Hollins University, in a state-of-the-art climate controlled environment with three interconnected galleries that total about 4000 square feet of space. Eleanor Delaney "Siddy" Wilson attended Hollins and graduated with a degree in chemistry, but the eventual chemistry that she mastered in wasn't in some obscure laboratory, but rather on the stages of Broadway, where she became a well known actress and Tony nominee. Siddy would go on to direct plays, work in the movies and television, as well as perform with the USO. She would continue to expand her horizons in art by studying with Rafael Soyer and Margaret Stark in New York City; and to fulfill her dream of donating enough funds and materials to her alma mater so that they could install a world class art museum. That museum, named in her honor, is the final episode in her philanthropic and generous life that benefitted and continues to benefit the college and the greater Roanoke region. Current exhibitions include; the Fleeting Glimpse: Selections in Modern and Contemporary Photography from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, featuring the works of 28 artists in the medium of photography that transforms common found occurrences in nature and humanity into unique encounters and odd juxtapositions; and Jim Campbell: In Repose of Memory that is a pioneer in electronic art that use technology to create artworks.  The museum contains a diverse collection of works by many well known artists that have produced art in various mediums that include; works on paper, paintings and photographs. The collection numbers more than a 1000 pieces and is still growing, with an archive that is also excellent. It has become one of the main resources of cultural and educational works for the city and region.

    Booker T. Washington National Monument
    Booker T. Washington National Monument Hardy, VirginiaThe Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Virginia is situated in a preserved part of the 207 acre tobacco farm that educator and leader Booker T. Washington was born on, into slavery in 1856. The monument offers an interpretation of his life and achievements, along with his interpretation of slavery during the 1850s and farming via the numerous structures, animals, crafts and gardens located here. The site would be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 and made a monument in 1956. After the Civil War ended, Booker would start the Tuskogee Normal and Industrial School and become its first principal. He would become one of the most influential African Americans of his generation, becoming an advisor, orator and author and decidedly changing the perception and understanding of African Americans in this nation. The monument has begun an educational program, or programs that satisfy the educational needs of the state's public school system and how this young boy, then man could become such a tremendous leader and teacher to his nation and the many school children that would look up and be influenced by his outstanding life. One of his most famous quotes is "I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he had overcome while trying to succeed. Out of the hard and unusual struggle through which he is compelled to pass, he gets a strength, a confidence, that one misses whose pathway is comparatively smooth by reason of birth and race." Booker reflects on his life in his autobiography, Up From Slavery, and describes his early years on the plantation and his life living in a slave cabin. His mother was a black cook and his father was a white man from a nearby farm. He would go to school, not to learn or be educated, as this was against the law, but to carry his owner's daughter's books. His young life would be difficult, but he was a tenacious sort and thoroughly enamored by education, which he somehow knew would take him away from the menial tasks that many considered him to be equal to, but he knew inside that he was destined for more. During the last few years of his life, Booker began speaking out with a new, or perhaps closeted frankness, attacking racism. During 1915, he would join with former critics to protest the stereotypical portrayal of blacks in a new movie, called "Birth of a Nation", after which he would pass on at the age of 59. Booker overcame almost impossible odds, and is best remembered for helping African Americans rise up from the economic slavery that had been keeping them down, a long time after they had become "free".

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    Historic FincastleHistoric Fincastle Roanoke, Virginia
    Historic Fincastle is found some 25 miles north of Roanoke, Virginia and was founded in 1770. It is now a small village of about 325 people in one of the most literal museums of American architecture for the late 1770s that exists in the nation today. It started out as the seat of Botetourt county and is still the seat, having started out on a huge tract of land that once included the state of Kentucky and most of what has become West Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, part of Wisconsin and Illinois. Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other significant statesmen would either go to Fincastle or send their agents there to lay claim to large tracts of wilderness lands. This is where thousands of Scots-Irish, German and English immigrants would pass through on their way west through the Shenandoah Valley to settle the western frontier. Utilizing the multi-talents of German craftsmen, Scots-Irish lawyers and merchants, the early Fincastle pioneers would construct a well-proportioned town with sturdy and outstanding houses and public buildings, with many of these still standing. The town's Court House Square has the old Western Hotel, the Jeffersonian Court House and Victorian style jail, along with three antebellum and two late 19th century churches still serving their congregations. The narrow streets are lined with numerous types of architectural styled houses that were the homes of saddlers, wagon makers and early smiths, with some constructed of logs and covered with clapboards and shingles. The commercial buildings and many houses of the rich were constructed of brick and are still standing in the countryside that is filled with the frontier architecture and historic lore. The Historic Fincastle was incorporated in 1968 as a nonprofit that is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the historic village. It has been called a virtual museum of 18th and 19th century American architecture with many structures dating back to the 1770s and contains about 100 historic buildings that have been listed with the state and national registers of historic places.

    Historic Grandin Village
    Historic Grandin Village Roanoke, Virginia
    The Grandin Road Commercial Historic District or Grandin Village is the historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Roanoke, Virginia and has grown into the eclectic part of the city, with a number of independently owned retail and dining spots. It has been said that the district is one of the city's best examples of a mixed-use urban village and is often used for a local model for any future mixed-use developments in the region. The area gets its beginnings from 1906, when the Virginia Heights Land Corporation was started and became responsible for the first developments of the heights after the Memorial Bridge had opened, allowing this district to be connected with the downtown area. With continued developments during the early part of the 20th century, the village would grow into the current historical district it is and during the period between 1917 and 1945 the majority of the structures would be built; becoming a major retail and service area for the region. The featured centerpiece is the Grandin Theater that opened in 1932, with numerous elements of revival styles of architecture and became the city's first movie theater. It would continue to operate until 2001 and then close the doors as its condition began to deteriorate; but the next year, with funding acquired, it was renovated and restored so that it could reopen in 2002. Today, it is the only historic movie theater in the valley.

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May 13, 2011