A walk down memory lane

The Historic Staunton Foundation is gearing up to offer Stauntonians a sneak peek inside the nearly completed rehabilitation of the R. E. Lee High School building, now known as Gypsy Hill Place.

On Saturday, the much anticipated “Tours, Tastes & Tunes” will transform the former gymnasium space into a party headquarters, complete with period decorations (such as trophies and mementos from the original Lee High) and a dance hall.

Celebrity guides, including a cast of former Lee High graduates such as Mayor Lacy King, are leading tours through the building, reminiscing about what used to be in the spaces and explaining what those areas are being repurposed into now.

The multi-generational event is intended to honor memories of the alums and to build excitement for the building’s new use as a mixed-use property for active adults. “We are very excited to partner with Historic Staunton Foundation to celebrate the revitalization of this beautiful building,” says Dave Taibl, general manager of Gypsy Hill Place. “After nearly 14 months of construction, we are closing in on the home stretch and hope to be moving residents in next month,” reports Taibl.

At $20.8 million, the rehabilitation of this landmark historic building may be the largest non-institutional project currently in progress in the city. Gypsy Hill Place offers 62 apartments, a permanent home for ShenanArts Theatre, a public restaurant and pub, and will house the Staunton Senior Center on the lower level.

“People will be interested to see how the historic features of the building have been retained and reused,” says Taibl, “Especially exciting are some of the large classroom spaces which have been converted into residences, each with its own history and character.

“Being pro-rehabilitation, Staunton attracts investors to rehabilitate its large historic properties. Gypsy Hill Place is an excellent example of an important property being adaptively reused,” says Frank Strassler, Executive Director of Historic Staunton Foundation.

Amanda Glover, Assistant Director of Economic Development at the City of Staunton, agrees. “Gypsy Hill Place is a significant project for the City, especially in the current economy. It’s the first project in Staunton that combines historic tax credits and New Markets Tax Credits, and will potentially include a state enterprise zone grant if all goes as planned.”
 
 

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at freepress2@ntelos.net.


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