The Samuel Noakes House, Part 2

The Samuel Noakes HouseJohn Chesson has graciously offered to share his story and images of his ongoing adaptive reuse project at the Samuel Noakes house, 101 West Cork Street/201 South Braddock Street with PHW. We will be releasing these stories through the PHW blog in the coming weeks, following the progress with virtual hardhat tours.

As you saw in part 1, the Samuel Noakes house had been adapted to one commercial space in a sub-first floor area facing Braddock Street and two apartments in the main body of the house, one upstairs and one downstairs. Layers of changes had accumulated over the years, leading to blocked stairs, blind alleys, and inefficient use of space.

John had contemplated pursuing historic tax credits for this project. However, he found his goals for the property did not mesh well with the historic tax credit process. This is fine; not every property can or should be a tax credit project. He took the right approach in consulting with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources before beginning any work on the property to see if it would work for him. It did not, so after a trip to the local Board of Architectural Review for the Certificate of Appropriateness for exterior changes, he was free to then begin work. He started with some selective demolition to see what is under the layers of changes.

Colorful wallpaper found behind a chair railSelective demolition to expose a fireplace

Interior demolition on Cork Street – exploratory demolition

Interior demolition, on Braddock Street – removal of plaster, items found, and cleaning up

Stay tuned for the next installment on Tuesday for more detail photos, interior photos, and video walkthroughs.

The Samuel Noakes House, Part 1

The Samuel Noakes HouseJohn Chesson has graciously offered to share his story and images of his ongoing adaptive reuse project at the Samuel Noakes house, 101 West Cork Street/201 South Braddock Street with PHW. We will be releasing these stories through the PHW blog in the coming weeks, following the progress with virtual hardhat tours.

Most historic preservation projects that receive media attention are built on the concept of rehabilitation or adaptive reuse, in which the character of the building is retained while adapting it to modern conveniences. This is most often the approach used in a historic building that needs extensive repairs to make it functional and useful once more. (Other recognized forms of historic preservation are preservation, restoration, and reconstruction, which refer to ongoing maintenance and retention, preserving a set time period in the building’s history, and rebuilding a structure, respectively). The Samuel Noakes house is no exception. This brick and stone house, built in the early 1800s, had been patched and updated piecemeal over the years and was in dire need of attention. The following images will set the stage for the existing state of the building.

The basement of the Samuel Noakes houseCAD drawings of the existing elevations and floor plans

The Peoples Barbershop area

Downstairs area

Upstairs area

Stay tuned for the next installment on Friday, when the interior demolition begins!

The Taylor Hotel Is Sold

Word has arrived that the Taylor Hotel has now completed its transition to the hands of the Winchester Economic Development Authority. This action allows the beginning of the first phase of the project, which is slated to be stabilization efforts of the front and rear sections and demolition of the collapsed central portion.

While further paperwork is being completed to access the Housing and Urban Development funds, which will open the path for redevelopment in phase two, this news marks a milestone in the languishing building’s history. PHW President Frank Wright was quoted in the Star today, saying:

“Hallelujah!” he exclaimed. “This has been a worrisome subject for many years and has caused a great deal of concern in the community, and this is the best news possible.

“This is great news for preservationists. This is great news for the citizens of Winchester, and for visitors to Winchester whom I’ve heard remark about the awful state of that building. So it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Read the complete article by Vic Bradshaw at the Winchester Star (login required).

Construction of the Winchester Towers

A series of photographs were tucked in a long-forgotten album at the PHW office. When closely examined, they yielded a surprising discovery — a sequential look at the demolition of the Greek Revival style house and new construction at 200 North Cameron Street for the Darlington Motor Inn, better known today as the Winchester Towers.

Cameron, or Market, Street was once a mixed residential and commercial area and once sported homes and many classic commercial Italianate buildings in the locations where we now see parking lots and Modern construction. These images highlight the changes in Winchester that fostered the formation of PHW and our ongoing efforts to educate the public on the value in these older buildings on the streetscape. Can you imagine this home being replaced with the Winchester Towers today?

View the Album on Picassa.

Indian Alley Improvement Project

The City of Winchester is planning the replace the underground utilities, add sidewalk and streetscape improvements where possible, and repave Indian Alley between Cork and Piccadilly Streets in the summer of 2012. To that end, the City is hosting an open house on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4-7 p.m. to look at the proposed plans, ask questions, and provide comments. This is an informal event, so you may visit anytime between 4-7 p.m.

If you are unable to attend but would like information on the project, please contact Perry Eisenach at (540) 667-1815 or email

Updated Architectural Survey Forms

The updated survey forms for the Winchester National Historic Register update process are now available at the PHW office for researchers. The forms provide a starting point for the historic tax credit process to determine eligibility, as well as being a valuable starting point for more in-depth exploration of the history of a building.

As we know, there are more historic properties in Winchester than just the downtown. To view the full list of registered properties, visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources at

Patsy Cline House Ready for Visitors

Celebrating Patsy Cline is nearing the completion of its vision to open Patsy Cline’s home of South Kent Street as a house museum on Tuesday. The tour includes the living room, dining room, a bedroom, and kitchen. The docent-guided tours will take about 35 to 45 minutes. The home is furnished with authentic memorabilia and period pieces, reflecting Patsy Cline’s life from 1948 to 1957 when she called 608 South Kent Street home.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for a special ceremony on September 3 to commemorate the opening of the house, coinciding with the annual visit of the Always Patsy Cline Fan Club to Winchester.

For more information, call 540-662-5555 or visit

Hours through Oct. 31 are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors 65 and older, $4 for ages 11 to 18, and free for military and ages 10 and under.

Click here for the article in The Winchester Star (login required).

Shenandoah Moonlight Ball: July 30

Step back in time, dance,and be merry! The Shenandoah Moonlight Ball is a free, family-friendly traditional southern ball in historic downtown Winchester. Period dance instruction is provided by the Victorian Dance Ensemble and music provided by Susquehanna Travellers. Period, casual or formal attire.

Date: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Time: 6:00 PM-10:00 PM
Venue: First Presbyterian Church, 116 South Loudoun Street, Winchester VA
Phone: (540) 662-4946
Cost: FREE!

Old Town Winchester Strolling Bridal Show: June 26

weddingThe shops of Historic Old Town Winchester have so much to offer for your wedding. From the cake, flowers and photography, to the reception and that perfect dress, Old Town Winchester merchants will help make your day special!

The Strolling Bridal Show is from noon-4:00pm, Sunday, June 26th. Visit participating shops–identified by balloons at the storefronts–and you may win great prizes! Start at Formalities (157 N. Loudoun St.) for your sign-up sheet. The Espresso Bar & Cafe (165 N. Loudoun St.) will be open; stop in to take a break. Shenandoah Carriage Company will be providing complimentary carriage rides.

Click here for more information on the event.
Click here for parking and directions.

Sponsored by Old Town Business Owners Association

Fort Loudoun Day & Rouss Day, May 21

As a reminder, Fort Loudoun Day and Rouss Day will be held Saturday, May 21, rain or shine.

Tours start at Fort Loudoun, 419 N. Loudoun St., at 10 am to 1 pm, with a ceremony at 12:30 pm. Visit for a complete schedule.

In the afternoon, partake of the Rouss Day events. Click here for the full event schedule. PHW will have a refreshment table at Rouss Fire Hall, 3 S. Braddock Street for the re-dedication event at 2-3 pm.

Also look for the following Old Jake items for sale at Rouss Fire Hall at a table manned by the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley:

OldJakePin Boxed Jake Cookie Cutter $5
Old Jake Lapel/Hat Pin $8
Old Jake Weathervane Ornament $24
Postcard .95
Old Jake Boxed Notecards $12
Green Ball Ornament $12

Click here to read the Rouss Day coverage by the Winchester Star (login required).