Monday, May 10, 2010
Old Photo Finisher Downtown Coming Down
The former Downtown Learning Center, which is owned by and sits next door to the Greene Memorial United Methodist Church in downtown Roanoke, is coming down. Today.
Reports are that it will become a parking lot for Greene Memorial.
The street in front of the center will be closed through Thursday so E. Luke Greene Company can complete the destruction of the building, according to a City of Roanoke press release.
The historic 74-year-old building, occupied by a photo finisher for many years, was being gutted and the walls knocked out at mid-day today. It had most recently been the home of a child care center, which was moved to the Jefferson Center, another historic downtown facility.
The child care center was actually moved in next door to the offices of Valley Business FRONT and I get to hear kids screaming like somebody has poured acid on them all day as I work. You should try it.
The building had come under some serious disrepair of late, including pipes that had been corroded over the years by film processing chemistry and additional problems with storm water flooding. For many years, the building housed Roanoke Photo Finishing (popularly known as RoPho).
It was on the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation’s 2009 list of Endangered Sites and Buildings, which proved prophetic. (I am on the board of the RVPF.)
Green Memorial owns the building, which sits at the corner of Luck Avenue and Second Street Southwest. It was built in 1936.