The Villa Heights Stewardship Campaign
Launches April 1, 2023
#ittakesaVILLAge when it comes to stewardship! The end of construction is just the beginning when it comes to old houses, and we need your help to ensure Villa Heights continues to serve the community long into the future.
100% of your gift will go to the up keep of this significant piece of Roanoke’s history and important resource for Roanoke’s present. Donations of $500 or more will be celebrated on a recognition plaque installed in the grand entrance hall at Villa Heights with all donations receiving a ‘Villa Heights Steward’ decal.
How You Can Become a Steward
Get your hands dirty sprucing up the landscaping at Villa Heights at our 8th Annual Community Partnership Day. Tools, snacks, and event t-shirt provided.
Saturday, May 20, 2023
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Volunteers RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
All donations made between April 1, 2023 and May 31, 2023 will be earmarked for Villa Heights stewardship. Donate online through the yellow link or by mail to the address below.
Donations of $500 and up will be celebrated on a recognition plaque installed in the grand entrance hall of Villa Heights with all donations receiving a ‘Villa Heights Steward’ decal.
Help us build momentum by sharing that you’re a Villa Heights Steward. Snap a pick of your Villa Heights decal and share on social media to let friends and family know why the work of Restoration Housing is important to you.
Be sure to tag @restorationhousing and use the hashtag #ittakesaVILLAge!
How to Give
There is more than one way to give! And remember, donations of $500 or more will be celebrated on a plaque installed in the grand entrance hall at Villa Heights with all donations receiving a ‘Villa Heights Steward’ decal. 100% of your gift will go to the stewardship of this significant piece of Roanoke’s history and important resource for Roanoke’s present.
- Online through PayPal
- By mail using this form
- Give Roanoke on April 19, 2023
- Create a Facebook Fundraiser
*Recognition plaque will be styled similarly to pictured plaque with the size and location of the donor’s name coordinating with their donation level.
History of Villa Heights
Villa Heights was originally constructed circa 1820 by War of 1812 veteran, Lieutenant Colonel Elijah McClanahan and his wife Agatha Strother Lewis, on a large tract of land known as ‘Long Meadow’. By today’s standard, it was a modest two-story, single-pile (one room deep) home in the Federal style but would have been an imposing structure at the time compared to other farmsteads in the area. By 1820, Lt. Col. McClanahan was a noted planter; Founding Elder of Salem Presbyterian Church; and representative for the county of Botetourt in Virginia’s General Assembly. He and Agatha raised twelve children at Villa Heights and lived there until their deaths in 1857 and 1852 respectively.
Villa Heights remained largely unchanged until 1910 when it was purchased by Sallie S. Compton who had the two-story rear ell constructed to add a kitchen, additional bedrooms, and a lavatory. The home was then purchased in 1923 by Ernest E. Bateman, who created the Villa Heights we know today. In 1925, Mr. Bateman had Classical Revival details added including the dramatic two-story portico and interior trim, mantels, doors, and chair rail.
In 1958, Villa Heights was turned over to the City of Roanoke for use as a community recreational center serving the Northwest community as a space for meetings, scout troops, dances, pottery classes, and cookouts until it was vacated in 2007. It sat empty for ten years during which time it was heavily damaged by fire. It was in such a dire state that Preservation Virginia and the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation included the historic home on their endangered sites list in 2013.
In 2017, Villa Heights was awarded to Restoration Housing and after a successful nomination to both the National and State Historic Registers, a year-long restoration commenced. Once completed in 2019, the property was affordably rented to nonprofits serving the surrounding community with shared, programmatic space on the first floor and offices on the second floor. Since that time, Villa Heights has provided the backdrop for numerous community enrichment activities hosted by our nonprofit tenants in addition to serving as a satellite education center and vaccination site during the pandemic.
Villa Heights was awarded the 2019 Gabriella Page Preservation Award for Outstanding Preservation Project by Preservation Virginia and the 2019 Kegley Preservation Award for Historic Rehabilitation by the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation.
Donations may be made online through the link below or mailed to the offices of Restoration Housing using this donation form.
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