The Department of Historic Resources announced the addition of 13 new historic sites to the Virginia Landmarks Register on Thursday.
New listings among the 13 include sites in the counties of Amherst, Bath, Giles, Montgomery, Pittsylvania, and Washington.
A previously listed historic district in Lynchburg also expanded, according to a news release.
The new listings include the Garth Newel Music Center in Bath County, the Gretna Commercial Historic District in Pittsylvania County, Christiansburg Downtown Historic District in Montgomery County, Glade Spring Commercial Historic District in Washington County, Narrows Commercial Historic District in Giles County, and Dulwich Manor in Amherst County.
Lynchburg’s Rivermont Historic District will also be expanding to include St. John’s Episcopal Church.
The new listings and expansion proposals were approved by two boards of the Department of Historic Resources. These listings and updates will be forwarded to the National Park Service for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information about implications of listing a property in the state or national register and/or for more information about the historical locations listed above, see a portion of the Department of Historic Resources press release below.
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.
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 mountainous southwestern Virginia, the Department of Historic Resources listed three new
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.
The Glade Spring Commercial Historic District in Washington County comprises the core of a
19th-century community oriented toward the railroad. The oldest existing building in the district
is a hotel building constructed in 1866. Representative of towns in the Valley of Virginia that
arose with the arrival of the railroad, Glade Springs’s role as a local commercial hub and an
incorporated town is significant in the economic history of Washington County.
The Glade Spring district retains many of the commercial buildings constructed during its
heyday, displaying a variety of storefront facades, with some also exhibiting impressive and
elaborate masonry techniques. Like many towns once dependent on the railroad, Glade Spring’s
economy suffered a decline beginning in the mid-20th century with the advent of improved
roads, Interstate highways, and a growing trucking industry that competed with the railroads for
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-18 th
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 20 th century,
until environmental regulations and foreign competition combined to impact the plant’s
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.
Dulwich Manor in Amherst County was constructed in 1909 as a summer house for Norfolk
real estate mogul Herman Lawrence Page. The Neoclassical mansion is one of the largest and
most ornate houses constructed in the county during the first half of the 20th century. Used
for recreation and entertainment by the Page family for more than four decades, the house
boasts large and open public spaces on the first floor.
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.
Designating a property to the state or national registers—either individually or as a contributing
building in a historic district—provides an owner the opportunity to pursue historic rehabilitation
tax credit improvements to the building. Such tax credit projects must comply with the Secretary
of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
Virginia is a national leader among states in listing historic sites and districts in the National
Register of Historic Places. The state is also a national leader for the number of federal tax credit
rehabilitation projects proposed and completed each year.
Together the register and tax credit rehabilitation programs have played significant roles in
promoting the conservation of the Commonwealth’s historic places and in spurring economic
revitalization and tourism in many towns and communities.