204 Draper Road SW, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States, 24060
Virginia based architectural firm Glavé & Holmes Architecture completed an extensive restoration and expansion of Blacksburg, Virginia’s Alexander Black House & Cultural Center. After fire completely destroyed his family’s first home, Alexander Black began construction on an extravagant Queen Anne Victorian in 1896. A descendant of Blacksburg’s Founder, Alexander built the large home to demonstrate how successful one could be in this small southwestern Virginia town. A banker and businessman, Alexander descends from an influential family in fields of farming, business and medicine. The Black family played an important role in the founding and growth of Virginia Tech as well as the town. When Alexander passed away in 1935 the house became a boarding home for a short time and then hosted a series of funeral homes. In 2002 the Town purchased the home to save it from demolition and moved it across Draper Road. It sat vacant until funds were raised to complete the first phase of the restoration. In August of 2014, the Alexander Black House & Cultural Center opened its restored first floor to the public. Today, The Alexander Black House & Cultural Center enjoys the restored first & second floors. Information found on Alexander Black House & Cultural Center. Blacksburg Museum & Cultural Foundation published a great time lapse of the restoration and extension of the historic home beginning on February 5, 2013 and ending on June 24, 2014.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture provided additional details of the project, “The restoration and site design for this project converted a 1897 Victorian residence, the home of Alexander Black, into a museum, gallery, and meeting facility. The new center serves to narrate the story of Blacksburg and functions as a community gathering place. Alexander Black was a prominent businessman, founder of the National Bank of Blacksburg, and the grandson of the founder of Blacksburg. To prevent its destruction resulting from development activity on Main Street, the Alexander Black house was acquired by the town in 2002 and moved to its current location. Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) restored the exterior of the building to its late-nineteenth-century appearance and made necessary modifications and additions to the structure to provide for its new function as a museum and cultural center. The general design approach was to preserve historic fabric wherever possible. Interior reconfiguration of the original core was minimized, historically inappropriate modifications were removed, and a new contractual rear addition was constructed to provide for accessibility and egress to and from the two principal floors. Archival photographs, research, and data were used to determine the historic qualities and original existing materials were utilized as were feasible. The Town of Blacksburg successfully merged its resources with a private non-profit foundation to preserve a piece of local heritage for the community. The resulting project is pursuing LEED-Silver certification and is an excellent example of a public-private partnership.”