The several new towns established in the Shenandoah Valley during the land boom of 1889-91 were considered not only as prime industrial and commercial sites but choice recreational areas. The scenic mountain landscape and pleasant climate, made accessible by the railroad, were the essential ingredients for large summer resorts. Of the Shenandoah Valley’s numerous elaborate hotels built in this period, the rambling Queen Anne-style Buena Vista Hotel in the small city of Buena Vista is one of only two remaining. Designed by S. W. Foulke of New Castle, Pa., and begun in 1890, the hotel operated only briefly; the panic of 1893 forced its closing. The building was subsequently acquired by Dr. Edgar H. Rowe, who reopened it as Southern Seminary, a girls’ preparatory school and junior college. The school closed in 1996.
An updated cover page with a name update for the Southern Seminary Main Building (also known as the Southern Virginia University Main Hall and the old Buena Vista Hotel) was accepted by the National Register in 2019.
[NRHP Accepted: 7/1/2019]
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark