02 July 2007

The Wharf - Staunton, Virginia

It appears that I’ll be moving my professional office to the historic Wharf District of Staunton, Virginia. I’ve long had my eye on relocating there and finally found a space that will work well. Staunton, in my opinion, ranks second only to Lexington in cities in the Shenandoah Valley that have been extremely successful in preserving their 19th century architecture and flavor. The Wharf area got its name due to the warehouse style buildings that occupy several blocks of old Staunton. Though no navigable water is nearby, the railroad is and these old structures once served for offloading and storage during the 19th and early 20th century. Today, most of the buildings have been renovated and are now being used for office space, retail, and restaurants. It is a beautiful and charming area and well worth visiting. I will be very close to some great restaurants as well: The Pullman and the Depot Grille. Also, in the Wharf district is the historic American Hotel which has just been renovated and is currently occupied by various businesses. I'll also be just around the corner from the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center.

“The present railroa
d station is the third one on this site. The first station was destroyed by General Hunter's troops in June of 1864. A runaway train at the turn-of-the-century destroyed the second station. Most of the warehouses and factories that were burned by Hunter's troops were in this neighborhood. One of the surviving pre-Civil War era buildings in this area is the former American Hotel , built by the Virginia Central Railroad shortly after the railroad came to Staunton in 1854. Once one of the finest hotels in Staunton, notable guests included the reconstruction-era Governor of Virginia, Francis Pierpont, in July of 1866, and the former Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard in 1874. In June of 1874, U.S. President and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant were serenaded by The Stonewall Brigade Band from the now-missing front portico of this hotel when their train passed through Staunton.” (The front portico was restored during the recent renovation.)

No comments: