July 21


12 Awesome Historical Buildings in Roanoke Va [Tour-Worthy Architecture]

Written by Brian Bailey

July 21, 2021

Historical Things To Do in Roanoke Va can be slim pickings at times. Architecture tours are usually reserved for ancient cities like Rome or Paris but Roanoke has an interesting past that our historical buildings can hold insight into. 

The interesting thing these historical buildings had is common was they all seemed to be built around the same time period 1880 - 1920 and there's a sampling of both Tudor Revival Architecture and Gothic Revival Architecture on multiple buildings around Roanoke.

Where should you put an architecture tour on your list of historical things to do in Roanoke Va? If you haven't drove to the Mill Mountain Star or hiked McAfee Knob, I'd say definitely go see those first unless you're big into architecture. These buildings paint a picture into Roanoke's unique history that are ready to be appreciated whenever you are.

1. St. John's Episcopal Church

 Built 1891   Gothic    Limestone Style      

St. John's Episcopal Church is located in Downtown Roanoke as well as the National Registration of Historic Places according to their Wikipedia article. The gothic architecture style was popular during this time period and similar in appearance to First Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

St. Johns Episcopal scaled

2. The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

 Built in 1882   Tudor-Revival Style     

While built in 1882, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference center has been re built and expanded many times according to their Wikipedia article. The iconic Tudor Revival Architecture style can also be seen in other locations in Roanoke including the Ronald McDonald House on S. Jefferson St.

Roanoke Hotel scaled

3. St. Andrew's Catholic Church

 Built in 1900   High Victorian Gothic Style  

St. Andrew's Catholic Church is quite possibly the most iconic historic building in Roanoke, Va and a top pick for historical things to do in Roanoke Va.  Built in 1900 using Gothic Revival Architecture style, this building looks like historic relic from times far past and a great view to take in on a relaxing weekend stop.

St. Andrews Catholic Church scaled

4. The Patrick Henry

 Opened 1925   Colonial Revival Architecture     

Located in Downtown Roanoke just next to just down from St. John's Episcopal Church, The Patrick Henry opened its doors in 1925 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places according to their Wikipedia article. Using the Colonial Revival Architecture

The Patrick Henry Hotel scaled

5. Roanoke Fire Station No. 1

 Built 1907   Georgian Revival Style   

Roanoke Fire Station No. 1 was opened in 1907 and modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall according to their Wikipedia page. Both building exhibit the Georgian Revival Style Architecture

Roanoke Fire Station No. 1 scaled

6. Virginian Station

 Built in 1910   

Located on Jefferson Street by Dr. Pepper Park, The Virginian Station was built in 1910 as the only brick rail station for the entire 608 miles of the Virginian Railway. The Virginian Station is on the National Register of Historic Places and an easy stop to take in the architecture next time you're in the area.

Virginian Station scaled

7. First Evangelical Presbyterian Church

 Built 1929   Gothic Revivalist Style

The History of First Evangelical Presbyerian Church began in the 1700's according to fepcroanoke.org while the impressive Gothic Revival styled church we see today was first built in 1929.

First Evangelical Presbytarian Church scaled

8. Grandin Road Commercial Historic District

 Medium Difficulty   Waterfalls    Blue Ridge Parkway       

Grandin Road Commerical Historic District, now Grandin Village, got it's start in 1906 according to their Wikipedia article. This area seems to bear the similar architecture style as Roanoke Fire Dept No 1. With so much to do in the area from the Grandin Farmer's Market, The Grandin Theatre & Scratch Biscuit Company, you won't need to have an appreciation of architecture in order to enjoy this area.

Grandin Road Commercial Historic District scaled

9. Four Churches on Church Avenue

 Building Dates Unknown    

There's no secret as to where Church Ave derived it's name from. These four architecture stand outs occupy the less than a half a mile space of Church Ave starting at Greene Memorial and ending at Central Church of the Bretheren. I wasn't able to find information about their built dates, so instead of guessing I'll just leave the pictures here and please comment below if you can offer any building or architecture insight.

Greene Memorial United Methodist Church scaled

Greene Memorial United Methodist Church

First Christian Church Roanoke scaled

First Christian Church of Roanoke

Oakeys Roanoke Chapel scaled

Oakey's Roanoke Chapel

Central Church of the Bretheren scaled

Central Church of the Bretheren

Map to all 12 Historical Roanoke Buildings

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