Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

115-0187 Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District

Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District
Photo credit: David Edwards/DHR, 2021

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

See link(s) below to view additional documentation.

VLR Listing Date 12/01/2004

NRHP Listing Date 01/19/2005

NRHP Reference Number 04001536; BC100002376

The Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District, an approximately 100-acre district centering on Rockingham County Courthouse and its Court Square, embraces the commercial and institutional core of Harrisonburg, which was established as the seat of Rockingham County in 1779-80. Although much of the downtown’s historic fabric has been lost during the years, the new district features an array of building types dating primarily from the 1870s through the mid-20th century, with some earlier ones, including the Thomas Harrison House, a limestone dwelling built in the late 18th century by the family of the town’s founder, and the Higgins-Hardesty House, built in 1848, which has been renovated for use as a tourism and visitors center. Harrisonburg’s downtown business district began as early as 1779 with the establishment of the town’s Court Square. There are 164 contributing historic structures within the district, representing nearly all aspects of the town’s development from 1779 through 1955.

A boundary increase to the previously-listed Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District expands it to include five historic buildings associated with the foundry complex known as P. Bradley & Sons, and among the oldest surviving examples of this type of industry in Harrisonburg. Established as P. Bradley & Co. in 1856 and relocated in 1867 to the current site, the property is illustrative of the changing industrial process that occurred there from the late-19th century through the early 1960s, and collectively the buildings retain much of their historic fabric. During its years of operation, the foundry concentrated mostly on casting high-quality plows of its own pattern and executing other general foundry work, with its reach extending throughout Virginia and into Maryland and Pennsylvania. The foundry ceased casting in 1961 and by 1994 the remaining operational Bradley foundry buildings were sold.
[VLR Listed: 12/14/2017; NRHP Listed: 4/30/2018]

2017 Boundary Increase Nomination

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

Updated: November 15, 2021