Five local sites received recognition on Virginia's Landmarks Register on Thursday.
All of these listing, including updates and district boundary increases, will be forwarded to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Here are the sites from the Department of Historic Resources:
--In the New River Valley's Montgomery County, the Christiansburg Downtown Historic District dates to 1792, when the town was established as a county seat and laid out in a courthouse square plan with its two main streets intersecting at the square. The district covers the historic governmental, institutional, and commercial core of the town along with its courthouse square and associated monuments.
Its buildings embody popular architectural forms and styles built between the 1850s and the early 1960s. Common architectural details include parapets, storefronts, and decorative sign panels of the Commercial Style, and less common Art Deco details such as low-relief motifs. Although the earliest courthouses in Christiansburg no longer stand, the historic monuments and 1937 Work Progress Administration–built Post Office distinguish its town square. The earliest building in the district is the Christiansburg Presbyterian church, completed in 1853.
-- Located Giles County, the Narrows Commercial Historic District arose as a result of its strategic location on the New River and major transportation routes. Originally settled in the late-18th century at the narrow gap in the mountains through which the New River passes, the Town of Narrows developed on the Cumberland Gap Turnpike, the route of which formed the two main streets in the district. The arrival of the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1882, followed by the Virginian Railway in 1907-1909, established Narrows as the major industrial town in the region and the largest town in the county.
With its natural resources and access to transportation for shipping, Narrows attracted various industries including mills, tan yards, power plants, and rail-related enterprises. Today, many of the district's commercial buildings date to the 1940s and later, after the nearby Celco Plant opened in 1939, spurring the town's growth. Celco globally dominated the production of cellulose acetate and related products after World War II and through to the latter 20th century, until environmental regulations and foreign competition combined to impact the plant's operations.
--The Garth Newel Music Center in Bath County is the former estate and residence of husband and wife artists William Sergeant Kendall and Christine Herter Kendall. Begun in1923 soon after the couple moved to Virginia, the rural 114-acre property is where the Kendells painted, raised award-winning Arabian horses, and entertained guests in a main house with an open floor plan that could accommodate the private concerts often hosted there.
A distinguished artist, William Sergeant Kendall achieved international recognition as a painter in the academic style. After he died in 1938, Christine Herter Kendell, also an accomplished artist, as well as an author, musician and patron of the arts, continued to make Garth Newel her home until her death in 1981. In 1973 she co-founded the Garth Newel Music Center, bequeathing her estate to the nonprofit at her death, ensuring Garth Newel would continue as a venue for small concerts.
Today it is the only residential music center in Virginia that exists strictly for the study and performance of chamber music. The property also features a one-story modern Ranch-style residence, two other secondary dwellings, a riding arena and horse barn, and stone entrance piers and retaining walls.
--In Southside Virginia's Pittsylvania County, the Gretna Commercial Historic District took shape with the arrival of the Lynchburg and Danville Railroad through the area between 1872 and 1874. The railroad swelled a settlement known as Franklin Junction. In 1901, it changed its name to Elba and in 1916 to Gretna.
Gretna's historic district contains 26 contributing buildings constructed between 1881 and the early 1960s, with many dating to Gretna's early period of development. Representing historic purpose-built commercial, governmental, and civic organizational buildings, their architecture ranges from the popular Commercial Style to the Colonial Revival style of the former Gretna Fire Station and Town Hall, to a Classical Revival social lodge building, and the Art Deco style of an early-20th century service station.
-- In Lynchburg, the Rivermont Historic District was increased to include the Gothic Revival style St. John's Episcopal Church, designed by prominent Lynchburg architects Stanhope Johnson, Clarence Henry Hinnant, and Joseph Everette Fauber, Jr. The church property is oriented toward Rivermont Avenue and highly visible along it. St. John's was constructed in 1911-1912, and expanded most notably in 1926-1928 with a new sanctuary that more than doubled its facilities.