Last Updated: Mar 31st, 2014 - 14:20:42


Hopewell historic district expands
By James Peacemaker, Jr., Managing Editor
Apr 2, 2013, 10:16

JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Included in the historic district is a portable diner that was put at 220 City Point Road around 1958.

HOPEWELL ­— Serving up hot dogs and chili for generations, Hopewell Quick Lunch has long been an iconic restaurant in the city. Now it has a permanent place in the history books.

The restaurant along with eight other buildings in the city have been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register by the Department of Historic Resources.

The Downtown Hopewell Historic District was expanded to include buildings constructed between 1944 and 1960 during the boom that followed World War II. It also includes a building constructed in 1928.

The Hopewell Quick Lunch, located at 113 Hopewell St., was established in 1927 and moved to the current building when it was constructed around 1956 by owner L.E. Houser, according to the nomination form. It became a favorite spot for shoppers and workers. The Quick Lunch is near shops on East Broadway and industry located along City Point Road, which was called Commerce Street until the late 1970s.

Sites in the Virginia Landmarks Register can also qualify for the National Register of Historic Places.

The Downtown Hopewell Historic District was originally listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 and contained 52 properties. They were the earliest surviving commercial and government buildings in the city, dating from 1915 to 1951.

The update to the historic district also removed the land where Patrick Copeland Elementary School once stood, which is now an empty lot.
Hopewell Quick Lunch has been added to the Downtown Hopewell Historic District.

The historic district is not just a point of pride, it could have an economic impact as well.

Having a property listed on the state and national registers means an owner can pursue tax credits for renovation as long as they comply with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Credits are available from both the state and federal government. The federal credit is 20 percent of eligible costs while the state credit is 25 percent. In some cases, taxpayers can qualify for both, allowing them to claim 45 percent of their expenses.
This building at 201 Hopewell Street, next to Hopewell Quick Lunch, is now part of the historic district.

But inclusion on the list does not put any restrictions on what an owner can do with the property.

Also added to the Virginia Landmarks Register is the Little Chef Diner, a portable diner that was put at 220 City Point Road around 1958 by Fred and Betty Tiller, according to the nomination form. The site became available after Turner Welding moved across the street. The portable diner building, now used by a catering business, was built by Valentine Manufacturing Inc. advertised as “The Little Chef.” The building has had additions, but the original steel building is still there.

Another addition to the historic district, the Arcades Building at 265 E. Broadway, replaced an older building in 1960 and became The Keith Allen Clothing Co., which stayed there for 10 years until a drugstore took over. It is the last remaining example of a type of canopy that was once prominent on commercial buildings in the area. The arcades provided shade on the sidewalks that had no trees.

A Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission Architectural-Historic Inventory Card reads: “the metal arcades that cover most of the streets in the central business district form a distinctive and functional feature of the community. Hopewell is the only city in Virginia to make such consistent use of this architectural form. Most probably date from the 1920s and 1930s when the business district was being built up. Many of the arcades have been renewed but a significant number have been lost making it impossible to have the sidewalks completely under cover in most blocks. The arcades form a sort of symbol of the community and an effort should be made to preserve existing ones and replace those that have been lost.”

Other newly added buildings include three buildings on North Main Street built in 1954.
The building at 112 N Main St., Hopewell, now used by the John Randolph Foundation, was added to the Downtown Hopewell Historic District.

Minshew’s Jewelers was the first business at 108 N. Main Street, and then it became King’s Jewelers and Minshew Watch Repair in 1959, and then the Hopewell Insurance Agency in 1962. The buildings at 110 and 112 N. Main St. have been used by various banks since they were built. On the adjacent block is the ABC Store at 210 N. Main St.

Also in 1954, adjacent to the Beacon Theatre, the Bogese Peterson Building was constructed by Bogese Construction, Real Estate and Insurance Co. at 207 E. Cawson Street.

The oldest resource to be included is the mixed-use commercial and office building at 300 E. Poythress St. constructed around 1928. This two-story brick building shows the shift to masonry construction downtown after the 1915 fire that destroyed much of the city.

A building at 201 Hopewell St. has also been added to the historic district.

Hopewell sites already included on the Virginia Landmarks Register are Appomattox Manor, the Beacon Theatre, the City Point Historic District, City Point National Cemetery, Hopewell High School (Mallonee school), the Hopewell Municipal Building and Weston Manor.

Twelve other sites across the state were added to the Virginia Landmarks Register at the Department of Historic Resources board meeting March 21.

Among them was a historic district for the town of Waverly in Sussex County. The town was established in 1854 on the Norfolk and Petersburg (now Norfolk Southern) Railroad.
PHOTOS BY JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT The building at 204 N Main St, Hopewell, which is now a SunTrust branch, and the ABC store next to it have been added to the Dowtown Hopewell Historic District.

“The district’s earliest building dates from about 1880, but most of its historic buildings were constructed after a 1904 fire destroyed much of the town.  Waverly’s prosperity derived from the processing and exporting of the region’s agricultural products and exploitation of the region’s timber from the late-19th through the mid-20th centuries. … The storefronts of many of the buildings were altered as business owners responded to the Great Depression and post World-War II trends by re-doing older buildings with Art Deco or modern elements,” according to the Department of Historic Resources.

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