Monday, May 4, 2009

The Gap at Rockfish

A World-Class Entrance to Shenandoah National Park,
The Blue Ridge Parkway, Waynesboro and the Valley

The abandoned motels at Rockfish Gap.

It reminds me of Sarijevo after the war.

Rusty water tower above the Inn at Afton.

In earlier times it was the site of a busy Howard Johnsons and a Holiday Inn. Exit 99 on Interstate 64 was actually the preferred exit for Wintergreen before the road up the mountain was upgraded. Indeed one would have predicted a bright future for businesses located at the Southern entrance to Shenandoah National Park, the Northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway and the gateway to the beautiful Valley of Virginia. Today the area has fallen into ruin. Even the Afton Convenience Store is closed and the Visitors' Center is going away to a modular trailer. With the 75th anniversary of the Skyline drive approaching in 2011, it is time to think about revitalizing this important place.

SWAC Girl Comments on the Crumbling Complex as Well [click to read]. In fact, her writing about it sparked this creative exercise in the first place. Could it be successful? There are many existing examples of similar projcts that are popular destinations. Rendering it has already taken me through some very loose programming and business model analysis.

So imagine the fog lifting one morning to reveal a new 'Village at Afton.' A bit of Tyrolean culture in Rockfish Gap. It is not so out of the question.



The new buildings pretty much fit into the footprint of the old complex. Hopefully that would minimize site preparation.

The rusty water tower becomes a baroque chapel. The steeple houses a cellular tower.

Cobblestones and cafes!

The new Visitors' Center is marked by this camponile.

A new roof gives an Alpine flavor to the Inn at Afton. The Inn provides economy lodging for travellers and housing for seasonal workers at the Village.

New service station and market.

More: 1 2 3 4 5 6

No comments: