Design can build a better future. We believe this holds true for both ground-up projects and the preservation of historical landmarks such as Deering Hall in Broadway, Virginia. Still standing from the 1890’s, Deering Hall is a local building housing over a century of history within its walls. It has adapted over the years and ushered in the changes of the decades by functioning as a town hall, school, opera house, and storefront for various local businesses. Our team jumped on the opportunity to partner with Anthony Slater in achieving his dream of seeing Deering Hall added to the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
New life and another century of history are ahead of this special building as Slater plans to use part of it to house his local business A-Able plumbing, while the other half will preserve and celebrate its history by functioning as a community meeting space. The restoration of this building will gain increased visibility as the Shenandoah Rail Trail is slated to run behind the property.
Until recently, there were no houses or buildings in Broadway on the national registry of historical buildings. The town itself had not been deemed “historical” until Anthony sought to preserve and share the history housed within the walls of Deering Hall. History is truly written on the walls inside as there are signatures and sketches carefully preserved from the 1890’s in the upstairs walls. Thanks to a book found at the local municipal building, meeting notes from 1896-1914 were uncovered and Deering Hall was specifically named as Broadway’s first town hall. This critical piece of information cemented the history of this building and the town. This discovery led to the approval of Deering Hall to be added to the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Registrar.
The Gaines Group partnered with Anthony to successfully complete the National Registry applications as well as code research and renovation permit drawings. Similar to our partnership in the historic Minor-Nelson project, it has been a rewarding experience to see a time-worn building be restored for new life ahead.