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End of an era: Tanglewood Mall marquee comes down

Mall owner working to convert mall into mixed-use facility

ROANOKE, Va. – “I really felt sad,” Vicky Nelson said about the Tanglewood Mall marquee coming down.

“I’m glad. I’m glad," said Laurie File.

As people walked in and out of the Tanglewood Mall on Tuesday, they couldn’t help but notice the crane rising above the mall’s giant marquee.

Caution tape surrounded the historic sign as a crew rose to climb inside and remove its light bulbs.

For Nelson, taking away the sign won’t take away her memories.

“I began shopping here at Tanglewood Mall for many, many decades. I began shopping at the French Quarter for my Miss Virginia gown, so it’s very sad to see the sign come down," said Nelson.

It's a sign of better things to come, she hopes.

“I do hope that it will be renovated and we can come here for shopping for many years to come," Nelson said.

Laurie File shares that hope, which is why she's not at all sad to see it go.

“I think one of the things Roanoke majorly needs is a better pediatric center for kids. I’m glad to see Carilion finally recognizes that and is putting one in Tanglewood Mall," File said.

Last year, Carilion announced plans to consolidate pediatric services into one new center in the mall.

Blackwater Resource owns the mall.

The company’s president, John Abernathy, said that there was still a long way to go to get the mall where the company wants it to be, but some big changes could happen soon.

“You’ll be seeing some tenants continue to leave just as the retail world changes and we’ll be replacing those with new tenants. You’re going to see that happen, probably, over this year," said Abernathy.

Despite the changes, he hasn't lost sight of the past.

“It’s just kind of an iconic day, I guess, to say. It’s a new day for Tanglewood," he said.

Blackwater Resource has no plans to save the old sign.

A new sign with an LED screen will eventually be put up.

Three smaller pylons are also being put up.