Population growth in Blacksburg continued through the period after the First World War. It was spurred in the 1940's with the war-time influx of employees at the Radford Arsenal. From 1400 in 1930, Blacksburg's population grew to 2130 in 1940 and 3358 in 1950. The growth of the town was characterized by an increasing architectural sophistication and solidity. Institutional architecture, including governmental, educational, social, and religious buildings took on a more substantial appearance allied with academic architectural traditions, most often those of classical order in Colonial Revival and Beaux-Arts forms. The buildings on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute were designed in the Collegiate Gothic style forms, beginning in the 1920s, under the influence of a campus plan by the Boston architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson and the designs of individual buildings by the Richmond-based office of Carneal and Johnston, Architects.
In the early 1920s, Blacksburg's downtown underwent a rebuilding as brick-clad two- and three-story commercial buildings with apartments in the upper stories replaced earlier commercial buildings and houses. New buildings included the Plank and Hoge Building on the south corner of College and Main streets, seen on the top, a plain, two-story, brick commercial block with second-floor apartments constructed by builder Wes Gray in 1922-1923. The one-story, brick Logan Martin Store, seen on the bottom, was built in the mid-1920s on Jackson Street in an axial position at the end of Church Street.
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Last updated October 24, 1997