Historic Preservation Award Winners – City of Bristol, Virginia
The Bristol Virginia Historic Preservation Committee presented awards for three properties within the city in recognition of restorations made that enhanced, not only those properties, but our city as well. Each award recipient was given their award at their residence or business on May 21, 2021.
The Historic Preservation Award recognizes and honors property owners and developers who engage in preservation on property within the city’s five historic districts: Euclid Avenue, Solar Hill, Virginia Hill, Bristol Downtown Commercial, and Bristol Warehouse Historic Districts. Properties within Bristol, Virginia, city limits, but outside historic districts, are eligible for the Citywide Historic Preservation Award.
Photo 1 – Bristol Downtown Commercial Historic District - The Sessions Hotel (Photo, Credit - Studio Bristol Photography and Fine Art)
The Sessions Hotel at 833 State Street was a five-year project adaptively converting three abandoned brick industrial buildings (circa 1915-1922) including the Bristol Grocery Building, the Jobbers Candy Factory, and the Service Mill into a hospitality complex celebrating the 1927 Bristol Sessions musical recordings. There were eleven parcels on five acres with multiple owners, including three “non-contributing” structures which required demolition. The hotel opened in July 2020 with seventy unique rooms and suites spanning all three buildings. Amenities include the Southern Craft Barbecue Restaurant, a 300-capacity indoor music venue with stage, a rooftop bar, and a second stage on the outdoor grand lawn. Project partner and architect Hal Craddock said it best: “The Sessions Hotel helps tell an important story; a story of the past, the present & the future; a story of music, historic architecture, and green development; and the story of a proud and diverse community of people making life richer and more interesting for all of us.”
Photo 2 – Virginia Hill Historic District – Arnold Home (Photo, Credit – Studio Bristol Photography and Fine Art)
The Arnold home at 416 Spencer Street was built in 1901. The restoration work by the Arnolds has brought new life to the neighborhood. The exterior brickwork, in poor condition, required the owners to paint after repair. The exterior paint color is very appealing, giving the property great curb appeal. The roof was replaced and a collapsing fence removed. The home’s windows, in bad condition and mostly boarded up, were not original so were replaced. The new windows now resemble the original cottage style windows. New porch lights and vinyl shutters were installed to dress up the home. A huge tree which posed a danger in the backyard was removed. A new sidewalk was poured, adding to the streetscape. The ribbon driveway on the side of the home is now visible. As stated by the Arnolds, “The work speaks for itself.”
Photo 3 – Solar Hill Historic District – Snowden Home (Photo, Credit – Studio Bristol Photography and Fine Art)
The Snowden home at 822 Sycamore Street was built in 1941. Extensive exterior work has been done on the property. The entire wrap-around porch was replaced, preserving an important architectural feature of the home. New landscaping included replacing trees with shrubs to provide color and a more uniform appearance. A new roof was installed, and decorative stone was placed around the foundation, porch, and steps. A deck with a pergola and new octagonal windows were added to the back of the home. The resulting project enhances and preserves the historic fabric of Bristol Virginia’s oldest residential neighborhood. As stated by the Snowden family, “Restoring and preserving an older home helps keep the memories alive. It’s a continuation of the story of everyone who has lived within its walls.”
Congratulations to the 2021 award recipients! Applications for next year’s 2022 Historic Preservation Award program may be submitted now through March 31, 2022. For additional information visit www.bristolva.org. Contact Catherine Brillhart, Chair: 276-591-6952.