Center In the Square

1 Market Sq SE, Roanoke, Virginia 24011 USA

7 Reviews
Open Now
Sat 10a-8p
  • Independent
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“a vibrant center for learning and family fun”

In the 1940's and '50's downtown Roanoke had a thriving nightlife. Businesses were open, there were four motion picture theaters. It all changed after World War II, gradually at first, then at an accelerated pace until it evolved into a deserted downtown during the decades of the 60's and '70's. In the late 1970's downtown Roanoke and the area's arts community was in a state of decay. This declining, crime-ridden, blighted urban area was producing less than desirable tax revenues and area school systems were struggling to offer adequate science, art and cultural programs. Cultural organizations, located in the suburbs were inaccessible by public transportation and unpatronized by a broad cross-section of Valley residents. None of these organizations had permanent homes with adequate facilities to accomplish their dreams. The formation of a business league in 1976 led to a comprehensive revitalization project called Design '79. In a storefront office in a very visible window on Roanoke's busiest street, Design '79 positioned an architect who was drawing plans for possible downtown improvements. Citizens were encouraged to observe and offer suggestions. Four months of call-in television broadcasts coupled with a panel composed of more than 100 citizens created a public wish list. Center in the Square was the resulting centerpiece of Design '79.

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Photo of alyse m.

Reviewed by
alyse m.

This is a fun place to visit, with a nice variety of museums, from a lovely aquarium and candy store on the ground level. I visited the pinball museum and the African American history museum... Read more

Photo of Julie C.

Reviewed by
Julie C.

Stopped by here on my way to my hotel stay and so glad I did! There is so much inside to explore and check out! Centrally located within walking distance of tons and tons of stores and shops,... Read more

Photo of Bruce K.

Reviewed by
Bruce K.

I was here for the Roanoke Pinball Museum but spent some time in the atrium and later at the Candy Store... Read more

Center In the Square

1 Market Sq SE
Roanoke, Virginia
24011 USA


Open now until 8:00 pm
  • Tue - Sat: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Mon: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sun: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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