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Downtown Waynesboro

Downtown Waynesboro as viewed from near the old News Virginian buildingDowntown Waynesboro, Virginia is a place that has experienced decline, and is now in the process of regaining its flair.  In the early 2000s, Waynesboro completed a project known as “Streetscape”, which was a downtown restoration project similar to the “Big Dig” that Staunton completed in the late 1990s.  The project replaced the sidewalks either with brick or concrete accented with brick, it replaced the street lights with “retro” style lights, and added “traffic calming” elements that narrow the road in places, providing a more sheltered area for parallel parking.

Meanwhile, many of the businesses in downtown Waynesboro are landmarks in their own right, such as Tim Spears’ Music City.  Others have been created out of existing storefronts, like Cycle Recycle, which relocated next door to its original location in the mid-1990s after the former Leggett department store closed in 1993.

In April 2006, Waynesboro became host to Hollywood filmmakers, as downtown Waynesboro was “dressed up” to become the fictional town of Huntsville for the movie Evan Almighty.  Huntsville signs were hung from the lampposts, and a number of modifications were made to the area to create the look that Hollywood wanted.  This photo set was made while downtown Waynesboro was dressed up for the movie.

I present this photo set to you going from east to west on Main Street, and then going back to show modifications made for the movie.  Thus the first photos are from the area near Arch Avenue, and proceed uphill towards the old News Virginian building, before discussing Evan Almighty.


 

 


This historical marker is located in a small alley on the north side of Main Street.

This historical marker is located in a small alley on the north side of Main Street.


 

 

 


This building, formerly a NationsBank branch, now serves as the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building.  The Yancey name was transferred here from an older building to the south on Wayne Avenue.  The older building is now known as the Thomas L. Gorsuch Municipal Building after having no name for several years.

This building, formerly a NationsBank branch, now serves as the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building.  The Yancey name was transferred here from an older building to the south on Wayne Avenue.  The older building is now known as the Thomas L. Gorsuch Municipal Building, after having had no name for several years.


The center of downtown Waynesboro is the corner of Main Street and Wayne Avenue.

The center of downtown Waynesboro is the intersection of Main Street and Wayne Avenue.

The center of downtown Waynesboro is the corner of Main Street and Wayne Avenue.



This building, vacant at the time of photography, was once the home of The Fox and Hounds, a fine dining restaurant.  My family and I ate there once, when, not long after we moved to the area, our real estate agent made reservations for us there.

This building, vacant at the time of photography, was once the home of The Fox and Hounds, a fine dining restaurant.  My family and I ate there once, when, not long after we moved to the area, our real estate agent made reservations for us there.


Waynesboro's local newspaper, The News Virginian, was produced and printed here for many years at the top of the downtown area, before printing operations moved to Charlottesville, and offices moved up the road to the former Hassett's building across from Waynesboro High School.  Waynesboro's local newspaper, The News Virginian, was produced and printed here for many years at the top of the downtown area, before printing operations moved to Charlottesville, and offices moved up the road to the former Hassett's building across from Waynesboro High School.

Waynesboro’s local newspaper, The News Virginian, was produced and printed here for many years at the top of the downtown area, before printing operations moved to Charlottesville, and offices moved up the road to the former Hassett’s building across from Waynesboro High School.


The Wayne Theatre first opened in 1926 as Waynesboro's first vaudeville and silent movie theatre.  When we moved to the area in 1992, the building was in service as the Wayne Cinemas, a two-screen movie theatre.  The Wayne Theatre first opened in 1926 as Waynesboro's first vaudeville and silent movie theatre.  When we moved to the area in 1992, the building was in service as the Wayne Cinemas, a two-screen movie theatre.

The Wayne Theatre first opened in 1926 as Waynesboro’s first vaudeville and silent movie theatre.  When we moved to the area in 1992, the building was in service as the Wayne Cinemas, a two-screen movie theatre.


Modifications for the filming of Evan Almighty were everywhere, as "Huntsville" signs hung from all the lampposts.  Modifications for the filming of Evan Almighty were everywhere, as "Huntsville" signs hung from all the lampposts.

Modifications for the filming of Evan Almighty were everywhere, as “Huntsville” signs hung from all the lampposts.


The sign for the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building is hidden by shrubbery, while a fake church sign, shown here covered by a blue tarp, stands out in front.  The sign for the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building is hidden by shrubbery, while a fake church sign, shown here covered by a blue tarp, stands out in front.

The sign for the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building is hidden by shrubbery, while a fake church sign, shown here covered by a blue tarp, stands out in front.

The sign for the Charles C. Yancey Municipal Building is hidden by shrubbery, while a fake church sign, shown here covered by a blue tarp, stands out in front.


The Waynesboro Heritage Museum was very much under renovation when filming occurred.  Filmmakers decided to make it appear to be a coffee shop, placing tables and chairs on the sidewalk, and a sign in the window.  The tables and chairs were a real hit with people on this particular day, and so it was a real shame that they were only temporary...  The Waynesboro Heritage Museum was very much under renovation when filming occurred.  Filmmakers decided to make it appear to be a coffee shop, placing tables and chairs on the sidewalk, and a sign in the window.  The tables and chairs were a real hit with people on this particular day, and so it was a real shame that they were only temporary...

The Waynesboro Heritage Museum was very much under renovation when filming occurred.  Filmmakers decided to make it appear to be a coffee shop, placing tables and chairs on the sidewalk, and a sign in the window.  The tables and chairs were a real hit with people on this particular day, and so it was a real shame that they were only temporary…


Even though spring was already in full swing, the trees downtown were not in bloom.  For Evan Almighty, they fixed that without much problem, wiring plastic flowers to the branches.  Even though spring was already in full swing, the trees downtown were not in bloom.  For Evan Almighty, they fixed that without much problem, wiring plastic flowers to the branches.

Even though spring was already in full swing, the trees downtown were not in bloom.  For Evan Almighty, they fixed that without much problem, wiring plastic flowers to the branches.

Even though spring was already in full swing, the trees downtown were not in bloom.  For Evan Almighty, they fixed that without much problem, wiring plastic flowers to the branches.


The same concept of adding flowers where there were no flowers extended to the bottom of the trees as well, with fake flowers placed in a pile of mulch.  The same concept of adding flowers where there were no flowers extended to the bottom of the trees as well, with fake flowers placed in a pile of mulch.

The same concept of adding flowers where there were no flowers extended to the bottom of the trees as well, with fake flowers placed in a pile of mulch.

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