VINTON, Va. – Renovations are underway to breathe new life into a 19th-century building nestled in Roanoke County. Vinton’s Gish Mill historic site is coming to life.
The three-story building dates back to 1846 with sturdy bricks still standing and secret doors still being explored.
Architect David Hill, president of Hill Studio, said working around the old grain storage bins, barn-like structure and masonry mill are a challenge. But worth it.
“Yeah, that building is always full of surprises,” Hill said.
Right now, construction workers are stabilizing the foundation.
As we’ve reported, a restaurant, seven rooms for lodging, a speakeasy whiskey bar and a seasonal market will be built all under one roof.
Project Manager Nathan McClung, the assistant planning director for the Town of Vinton, said he’s surprised how detailed the building was made.
“The attention to detail throughout the building and how well constructed it was, that it could stand to the test of time,” McClung said.
“The building is in great shape, but with the Glade Creek running in the back, erosion is now the main priority,” Hill said.
The creek will be the spotlight for the plans of an outdoor deck.
The town of Vinton bought the building in 2015 with the goal to preserve it.
Hill says the mill holds many memories and they want to keep a connection to the past.
“There are certain tools 100 hundred years ago and will show them up on the wall or something,” Hill said. “It will bring back a lot of memories I would hope.”
“You’ll have people who are really coming for the lodging aspect or the retail or the good food that’s provided here,” McClung said. “But then they are going to get a piece of history when they come to visit.”
Construction is expected to be complete by late 2023.