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Hotel Roanoke



  • Usage: after 1994?

Historical Note

The original Hotel Roanoke was built in 1882 by the Norfolk Western Railroad for $60,000. The hotel started with 34 rooms and quickly grew to 94 rooms in 1890. It was severely damaged by a fire in 1895 and was rebuilt. It continued to expand through wars and the depression. By the 1950s, it had over 384 rooms within its distinctive half-timber English Tudor style facade.

As the public began to use interstate highways rather than passenger rail for travel, the Hotel Roanoke experienced a decline in business. Unable to compete with the national hotel chains located near the interstate highway, the Norfolk Western Railroad decided to concentrate on the transportation aspects of their corporation and closed the Hotel Roanoke in the fall of 1989. James McComas, then president of Virginia Tech, was approached by city leaders to accept the hotel as a gift and develop a first class hotel and conference center. The Virginia Tech Foundation accepted and renovated the Hotel Roanoke, while the City of Roanoke constructed the adjacent conference center.

The $27.8 million renovation of the Hotel Roanoke was financed through a mixture of funding sources: a consortium of local financial institutions loaned the project $6.5 million, a $6.0 million loan through section 108 HUD loan program with the City of Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority for the creation of 300 new jobs, $3.0 million from the sale of land surrounding the hotel, $4.0 million loan from the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc., $1.3 million loan from Doubletree hotels, $1.0 million loan from a local Roanoke foundation, and $6.0 million from local citizens and companies in a local fund drive to save the historic hotel. The Hotel Roanoke is privately owned by a for-profit subisidiary of the Virginia Tech Real Estate Foundation, Inc.

Since reopening in the spring of 1995 as the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, the 332-room facility has received many historic preservation and architectural awards. It was placed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks register, and it received the 1996 National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award for restoration and preservation.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Colonel William Christian Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Records,

Identifier: Ms-2014-013

The Colonel William Christian Chapter, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Records contain administrative papers, memorabilia, documents relating to community work, and correspondence from the now disbanded Christiansburg, VA, chapter. Papers date from the mid 1930s to the 1990s.

Dates: 1935-1990s

Hotel Roanoke Architectural Drawings

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Ms-2000-093

The Hotel Roanoke Architectural Drawings collection includes information about Hotel Roanoke in the form of original drawings, blueprints and photocopies dating from 1890 to 1983. The collection contains foundation, floor, and framing plans, elevations; ventilation, plumbing, heating and cooling plans; external and internal details for various rooms, stairways, and features; alterations; landscaping details; and exterior features, such as swimming pool and stables.

Dates: 1890 - 1983

Hotel Roanoke Menus

 Collection — Box 1
Identifier: Ms-1999-009
Scope and Contents

June 1942 menu, Hotel Roanoke Congratulates J. Ed Brown...60 Years Service, is signed by J. Ed Brown. Leather bound menu is undated. Assorted menus from reopened Hotel Roanoke, 1993.

Dates: c.1942-1993

Norfolk & Western Financial Documents,

Identifier: Ms-2003-004

The collection contains bills and invoices from Norfolk & Western Railroad, Norfolk & Western Railway, and several subsidiaries and contracted companies.

Dates: 1882 - 1954; Majority of material found within 1884 - 1916

Postcards from Appalachia,

Identifier: Ms-2015-032

Postcards from Appalachia contains postcards depicting various landmarks, locations, and scenery in the Appalachian region during the first half of the 20th century.

Dates: c.1900-1970s