Looks like Western Regional Preservation Office of the State Department of Historic Resources, which was headed for so long and so ably in this region by my friend John Kern before his retirement last year, has landed on its feet. It’s Roanoke College to the rescue.
The college will announce Jan. 24 at a reception that it will house the department at Hunley Hall at the Elizabeth Campus and that it will embark on a new Local History Initiative. There will be an open house there 2-4:30 Monday, Jan. 24 and a reception 4-5:30 at the Department of History in the old bank building, third floor at the front of the main campus.
The Preservation Office had been housed at historic Buena Vista in southeast Roanoke for years, but Roanoke, which owned the old home, decided to sell it and it was recently purchased by a private owner. Preservation looked far and wide for a new home—even considering a move to Blacksburg—when Roanoke College apparently stepped in and gave it a home. The new name (it had been the Roanoke Office) reflects the move out of the city and the actual geography of its coverage.
That’s good news for anybody concerned about preserving the past (in buildings, primarily) because the historic resources the Preservation Office brings to the table are substantial.