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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Roanoke, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hotel Roanoke

The David R. and Susan S. Goode Railwalk

 
 
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
1. Hotel Roanoke Marker
Inscription. Roanoke’s “Grand Old Lady” stands on the hill overlooking downtown Roanoke. Styled to appear like an old English inn, it was the grand hotel for Roanoke since it opened in 1882. The Hotel was located near the new Union Station and a treat for passengers just off the smoky, sooty trains.

The Hotel quickly became known for its fine dining and amenities. The Hotel Roanoke was THE place Roanokers would eat for occasions, banquets, and wedding receptions. It was simply “the Hotel,” no explanation needed.

The railroad also constantly held events, meetings and dinners at the Hotel for employees, visitors, and dignitaries. Not blessed with the scenic setting of the Greenbrier on the Chesapeake & Ohio, but renown for its services as well, the Hotel went through its trials and tribulations through the years, but not once, until December 1989 were the doors closed. Over the years, the original structure changed its looks and accommodations, but would not stray far from its original styling.

The Hotel, original General Office Building and Union Station were all styled to make a family of railroad-owned buildings.

In 1982, Norfolk and Western merged with the Southern Railway to form the Norfolk Southern Corporation. NS concentrated on their primary business, operating their railroads,
Hotel Roanoke and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
2. Hotel Roanoke and Marker
The Market Square Walkway, mentioned on the marker, is seen to the right in this photograph.
and were less interested in being in the hotel business. When the headquarters was moved from Roanoke to Norfolk in the 1980s, it marked the end of an era in many ways. The Hotel was given to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

Virginia Tech and the City collaborated on a new partnership. Tech remodeled the Hotel, the City built a conference center. It continues to be “the Hotel” for Roanokers and now serves more patrons than ever since it reopened in 1995.

Connecting the Hotel with downtown Roanoke is the Market Square Walkway with a viewing area over the NS mainlines. There are a number of informative panels with historical information available in the walkway.
 
Erected 2007.
 
Location. 37° 16.387′ N, 79° 56.391′ W. Marker is in Roanoke, Virginia. Marker is on Norfolk Avenue SE west of Market Street SE, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Roanoke VA 24011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Norfolk and Western Passenger Station (within shouting distance of this marker); The Market Square Walkway (within shouting distance of this marker); Roanoke - A Railroad Town
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
3. Hotel Roanoke Marker
The earliest known view of the Hotel, not long after the wooden frame rose in the former wheat field in 1882. Notice the people "hanging out" at the depot, a common practice
(within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Fast Freight (within shouting distance of this marker); The Finest Steam Passenger Locomotive (within shouting distance of this marker); Power Behind the Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk and Western Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Roanoke Shops (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Roanoke.
 
More about this marker. All pictures are Norfolk and Western Railway photos provided for the marker from the collection of Kenneth L. Miller.
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsRailroads & Streetcars
 
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
4. Hotel Roanoke Marker
These two views shows the elegant, rambling Hotel in September 1917. The beautiful manicured grounds and tudor styling are hallmarks of "the Hotel."
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
5. Hotel Roanoke Marker
Fires were the major cause of "urban renewal" in early day Roanoke. Hotel Roanoke was no exception, this blaze caused considerable damage. A great effort was made to save furnishings by moving them out to the lawn.
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
6. Hotel Roanoke Marker
Above: The main dining room is set with the well-known "Dogwood" china. The Dogwood theme was carried by the Hotel for many years, as can be seen in this 1940 banquet program cover, and is still used today. Left: Among the many events and dinners held at the Hotel were the Annual Better Service Conference of the Norfolk and Western; this one in March 1957.
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
7. Hotel Roanoke Marker
The Hotel even featured a fully equipped garage and uniformed attendents to service the customer's automobiles. September 1951.
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
8. Hotel Roanoke Marker
The elegant Colonial Room, off the main lobby, featured murals and a custom made round carpet with a cloud-painted ceiling overhead.
Hotel Roanoke Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., December 28, 2008
9. Hotel Roanoke Marker
The Hotel was remodeled a variety of times over the years. The 1946-47 remodeling featured a soda fountain for customers enjoyment.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 740 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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