In silver boots and an orange umbrella, Kali Casper, the town’s assistant planning director, led the Blacksburg town council, staff and a hiking-booted collection of people interested in sustainability, planning, architecture and historic design on a nearly two-mile tour through the rainy heart of Blacksburg Tuesday afternoon.
They were mulling architecturally interesting and historically important buildings in order to consider whether or not to amend the town’s Historic District.
As they walked, Casper called their attention to “contributing structures or properties” that add to the “overall historic and architectural significance of the district and architectural integrity” of the town.
The buildings should reflect the character of a “historically significant period.” Blacksburg experienced a building boom in the 50s and 60s, “yielding important information about the historically significant period.”
Some buildings, rather than being architecturally interesting may have been the house or office of an important person.
Architectural integrity and character were easy to see in deep-porched bungalows like the Floyd-Dickerson House on Wilson, others like the garage behind the Sigma Nu house are so buried under siding and plank, its handsome brickwork is hard to see, and the William Preston Hotel now houses the restaurant…