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Fishburn Mansion restoration project moves forward

Fishburn Mansion, originally named Mountain View, is in Southwest Roanoke on 13th Street.
Craig Wright
Fishburn Mansion, originally named Mountain View, is in Southwest Roanoke on 13th Street.

In southwest Roanoke, an effort is underway to restore and preserve a building of historic significance – whose namesake is familiar, but the history behind the name and the purpose of the building may not be. “All Things Considered” host Craig Wright paid a visit to learn more.

From a distance, the home that sits at the corner of 13th Street and Wasena Terrace appears beautiful and stately… Although structurally sound, a closer look reveals a building in need of repairs.

Roanoke Community Recreation Coordinator Ryan Shazor took me on a brief tour, “Historically, I believe this was Mr. Fishburn’s room…”

It was the home of Junius B. Fishburn, former owner of The Roanoke Times. He left the home to the city upon his death in 1955.

Shazor explains the guidelines for the property's use, “It was given on the stipulation that it be a public recreation center and area.”

The home and other buildings on the property are now the focus of an effort being led by The Friends of Mountain View to restore and preserve the property.

It’s an effort designed not only to bring the structure up to date – but also the present the history of the Fishburn name to new generations.

Shazor wants more people to be aware of this historic resource, “This is a wonderful location – it’s a wonderful spot, and it’s meant to be here for the public. And so we want the public to come and enjoy it.”

The Friends of Mountain View have already secured initial grants for this multi-year project which still in the planning and strategy phase.

An Open House Event is scheduled for Sunday from three-to-five where the public invited to learn more and also review the project work to date.

Craig Wright hosts All Things Considered on Radio IQ.