Old Town Now Officially Old

Brent Finnegan -- February 26th, 2008

If the “Old” in “Old Town” wasn’t enough to signify its historicalness, Harrisonburg’s Old Town district was approved by the National Park Service for listing on the National Register of Historic Places last September. Now it’s officially listed.

According to a statement from the DHR (not to be confused with HDR),

The National Register listing recognizes Old Town Historic District’s significance as the home to many of Harrisonburg’s leading families who played a prominent role in Harrisonburg’s growth and commerce between 1850 and 1957 […]

The importance of limestone also is reflected in a “bluestone” wall and steps on Campbell Street where it meets Ott Street. The wall was constructed in the 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration project under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The wall serves as a central landmark for the district and is a physical reminder of the Depression era in Harrisonburg’s history.

The growth of Rockingham Memorial Hospital and James Madison University have directly affected the development of the Old Town district, as the neighborhood has changed from being almost exclusively single-family residences in the early part of the twentieth century to being a mixed-use neighborhood now full of multi-family dwellings, single-family residences and office spaces.

I’m thinking they either forgot or omitted ‘college party houses’ from that list.

6 Responses to “Old Town Now Officially Old”

  1. Hence the giant, brown sign indicating such on southbound I-81 just before exit 247.

  2. Derik says:

    I believe the sign is for Historic DOWNTOWN Harrisonburg rather then the adjacent residential Old Town neighborhood.
    None the less signs are going up for Downtown which is great.

    While I’m here and a resident of Old Town, I’ll pose a question…..

    Would anyone have interest in a 4th of July “Parade of Homes” in Old Town? Meaning if several Old Town residence were to open their homes to the public would you take a walking tour of them? Much like Staunton does at Christmas. Probably be a small fee to raise money for graffiti cleanup, signs, sidewalks, etc.

    This is not being discussed by anyone formally.

  3. Bryan says:

    OT represent!

  4. Seth says:

    yeeah boyyyyy

  5. Josh says:


    I think the public would love to see a 4th of July “Parade of Homes.” If the local home and garden tour crowds are any indicator, this could be a huge success.

  6. Bryan says:

    a parade of homos is the last thing h’burg needs. i mean, i’m not condemning the lifestyle or anything, but do they have to go and flaunt it?

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