Downtown & Architecture

Downtown & Architecture

Located in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Staunton’s amazing architecture and compact downtown is nationally celebrated for its extraordinary beauty and preservation success.

“The city’s greatest spectacle is the cityscape itself, a magnetic panorama of period architecture that draws the visitor in like a painting by Norman Rockwell,” says Virginia Living magazine.

Staunton is one of the oldest towns west of the Blue Ridge, and was fortunate to be able to escape the Civil War relatively unscathed. The city boasts six contiguous historic districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Staunton’s downtown district is an excellent example of a compact 19th-century “Main Street.” The city is lauded for having one of the “Greatest Main Streets in America” by Travel + Leisure, was picked as one of the “Best Small Towns in America” by Smithsonian magazine, and has also been chosen as one of the “Great Places in America” by The American Planning Association.

Staunton boasts beautifully maintained buildings designed in an eclectic mix of architectural styles. Much of the city’s celebrated architecture can be attributed to one man, TJ Collins, a talented architect who practiced in Staunton from 1891 to 1911. He designed or remodeled nearly 200 buildings in Staunton, many of which still survive today. For more information about Staunton’s architecture, visit Historic Staunton Foundation and for more information about downtown Staunton, visit Staunton Downtown Development Association.

“The city’s greatest spectacle is the cityscape itself, a magnetic panorama of period architecture that draws the visitor in like a painting by Norman Rockwell,” says Virginia Living magazine.

Insider's Tip:
Historic Staunton Foundation provides free, guided walking tours every Saturday morning from May through October.
Insider's Tip:
Historic Staunton Foundation provides free, guided walking tours every Saturday morning from May through October.