Most Timeless Neighborhood

The Roanoke community recognized as one of “North America’s most timeless neighborhoods” is also in line for significant investment as part of a Habitat for Humanity revitalization project in 2011-12.

This Old House, America’s most respected home improvement authority, has selected Mountain View as Virginia’s “Best Old House Neighborhood 2011” in its annual list of “North America’s most timeless neighborhoods—places where lovingly crafted old houses have extraordinary pasts and inarguably promising futures.”

Mountain View was one of 64 neighborhoods in the U.S. and Canada recognized by This Old House, which distributed nomination forms to more than 14,000 historical societies, neighborhood groups, and preservation nonprofits to compile its “biggest-ever list of off-the-beaten-path places that are worth eyeing for a great old home.”

Mountain View resident Valeria Alphin nominated Mountain View and worked with This Old House editors to provide them information not only about the neighborhood, but the Roanoke Valley as a whole.  This Old House editors called Mountain View “perfectly located in every respect: It’s a cinch of a commute and enjoys stunning panoramas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Roanoke River,” adding, “you may just have the ultimate Roanoke Valley settling spot.”

The historic Mountain View neighborhood covers the area of southwest Roanoke between Cleveland Avenue and Patterson Avenue SW, and between 19th Street and 10th Street SW.   The majority of the homes within the neighborhood were constructed in the late 19th century and early 20th century as mansions for railroad executives based in Roanoke.  The residential design of the neighborhood is dominated by the two-story American Foursquare and features some of the city’s finest examples of its early architecture.

The neighborhood is named for Mountain View, a Georgian Revival mansion built in 1907 by Junius Blair Fishburn, a prominent publisher, banker, entrepreneur and philanthropist in Roanoke in the first half of the 20th century.  The home, listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, is currently undergoing extensive exterior renovations.

Mountain View’s revitalization has enjoyed much positive news in the last year, including the opening of Vic Thomas Park as part of an extension of the Roanoke River Greenway.  The upcoming Blue Ridge Marathon will pass through Mountain View on April 16 and a second park will open later in 2011 off Cleveland Avenue as part of further extension of the Greenway.

Most significantly, Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley has big plans for Mountain View.  Its “Mountain View Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative Pilot” project will fund the construction of three new houses on Campbell Avenue, and the repair of seven existing homes in 2011-12.

Some key facts about the Mountain View Habitat project:

• Habitat hopes to complete repairs to seven homes in spring/summer 2011.

• The three new homes will be located on Campbell Avenue in the 1400 block.

• Construction on the first new home is tentatively scheduled to begin in August 2011.

For more information about the Habitat for Humanity project in Mountain View, please contact Jean Darby, 540-344-0747 ext.311, or [email protected].

Read more at the This Old House “Best Old House Neighborhoods 2011” website: Mountain View:

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