DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — On Friday, the River District Association (RDA) held a ribbon-cutting celebration for its new office space, a satellite office of Longwood Small Business Development Center, and the newly renovated and restored historic buildings at 206 and 208 N. Union Street in Danville.
The 206 and 208 N. Union Street buildings were constructed in the early 1900s and needed rehabilitation.
In September 2018, Danville was chosen to be one of 20 Main Street Communities to participate in the 2018 Partners in Preservation: Main Street campaign. Danville officials and RDA chose to focus the campaign on the properties at N. Union Street.
During the campaign, Danville competed against many larger communities. In the end, the city was placed in the top ten communities.
Danville and the RDA — along with the support of the community — were able to secure $150,000 to go towards the restoration and renovation of the historic buildings at 206 and 208 N. Union Street
“We are beyond grateful that Danville was selected to participate and ultimately succeeded in this campaign,” said Diana Schwartz, the River District Association Executive Director. “The recognition of our City as an important part of the history of diversity in our nation coupled with our incredible efforts towards revitalization is something every citizen in Danville, and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, can be very proud of.”
According to the RDA, N. Union Street has been central to entrepreneurship in Danville, first as part of a tobacco history and heritage, and later as the center of black entrepreneurship in the city.
In the past, these properties have contained tobacco warehouses, furniture stores, a lunch and billiards parlor, a cobbler’s shop, a boxing gym, and an art gallery.