The Montgomery Museum of Art & History has signed a contract to purchase the former Bank of Christiansburg building on the town square at 4 East Main St.
This building is a keystone of the Downtown Historic District in Christiansburg and will provide a vastly expanded space for the museum to serve as a community cultural center. The 15,000-square foot building will enhance the organizational capacity and will accommodates greater public programming.
The new location will serve as the premier destination for community arts and history exhibitions and will boast greater exhibit space, library and archives, a café, a gift shop, and meeting space. Artifacts, including many currently held in off-site storage, will soon be stored and cared for properly on-site.
“We are a museum growing with our community and this acquisition will greatly contribute to the revitalization and economic vitality of the region,” said Casey Jenkins, the museum’s executive director. “The museum is seeking strategic partners to invite as anchor tenants to complement the institution’s vision of a cultural center.”
The museum, which serves all of Montgomery County, has outgrown its space at 300 South Pepper St. The new space will allow the museum to meet the needs of the rapidly growing and diverse regional community of the New River Valley. Education, community engagement, and preservation are among the leading priorities for the museum, and each of these will be enhanced by the new space.
“This is a unique opportunity for the museum to provide a forum for rich storytelling, interactive experiences for students, research and genealogy, and to expand our ability to tell difficult and neglected stories of the New River Valley,” said museum curator Sherry Wyatt. “The space will serve as an excellent conservation and preservation facility for our object, photograph, archive, and textile collections.
The goals of the acquisition of the building are to position the museum to be a lasting cornerstone of the community and to make the visitor experience participatory, exciting, and inclusive. The museum will reach out to new audiences, cultivating community development and growth.
Since 1983, the museum has operated out of the historic manse on Pepper Street. Plans are underway to retain the property and to rent the space out to interested parties. The educational and recreational opportunities of the museum garden and outdoor art installations will continue.