Virginia Main Street communities incorporate historic assets as the foundation of their design, promotion and economic restructuring strategies. By fostering vibrant, economically viable downtowns, they serve as stewards of traditional commercial districts. And it can pay off.
Staunton was recently listed as number 42 in the New York Posts’ “Top 100 places for New Yorkers to visit,” calling it, “a back-from-the-dead success story that’ll make you smile.”
It didn’t happen by accident. Without an organized, committed corps of volunteers in pursuit of viable revitalization strategies, a community, in spite of its history and building stock, can suffer at the hands of economic and demographic shifts. Employment wanes. Investment halts. Residents move.
Through August 21st, Virginia Tech’s Holtzman Alumni Center is hosting an exhibit that tells many of these other stories. The Lost Communities of Virginia photographs, a project of Tech’s Community Design Assistance Center, testifies to changes in the way we live and the small communities that have witnessed these wholesale economic shifts. To date 30 communities have been documented in depth, reaching across the breadth of the commonwealth from Stonega (Wise County) to Capeville (Northampton County). If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can read the Department of Historic Resources Notes on Virginia article on the project, schedule a presentation for your group, or purchase merchandise online.