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Black History Month Spotlight: Gilbert Place & St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall

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Black History Month Spotlight: Gilbert Place & St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall


St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall stands as one of the last remaining pieces of New Town, an African American neighborhood in Blacksburg, Virginia that existed from the late 19th century until the mid-1960’s.  The Hall existed as a social center for African Americans in the Blacksburg area from its construction in 1905 through the end of segregation.

In 2004, the Hall was donated to the town of Blacksburg, under the condition that the Hall be restored and dedicated as a part of the town’s museum. In 2005, The Odd Fellows Hall was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Today, St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall stands as a museum of African American Culture, showing the exhibit ‘From Civil War to Civil Rights’, chronicling the lives of African Americans throughout the years.

W. M. Jordan Construction and Real Estate Development’s recently completed Gilbert Place was constructed on land adjacent to St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall. Our teams worked with the Town of Blacksburg to help preserve the historic site, conducting a shadow study to ensure that the building would not overshadow the Hall while also creating a memorandum of understanding with the cultural and historic foundation. W. M. Jordan Company also facilitated a land swap of equal square footage between The Virginia Tech Foundation the Town of Blacksburg, which helped provide additional green space for the historic site. Our team also re-did all the sidewalks leading to St. Lukes and Oddfellows Hall to make them ADA Compliant, while also landscaping, sodding, and irrigating all the lawns surrounding the Hall. To show our appreciation for the cultural significance of St. Lukes, a tribute to the Hall was constructed in the lobby of Gilbert Place.