Roanoke Historic Gardens
N. W. Pugh

Nicholas William Pugh purchased the house in Roanoke at 317 Washington Ave. along with all the property to the corner of Franklin Road in 1945. Soon after, he engaged the well known Roanoke landscape architect, Albert Farnum, to design formal gardens for the entire property. In the following few years these gardens were constructed. In the early 1950's, the property was expanded to the east by an additional two lots and further developed to include the large side yard and pool off the porch and a circular driveway. A notable feature of the lower gardens was the many interconnecting pools. From the pool in the octagon rose garden, the water followed a series of eleven ponds to a large pool at the bottom of the gardens giving the effect and sound of a mountain stream. The gardens were open every year to the public during Garden Week in Virginia until Mr. Pugh died in 1957.

Many of the pictures here show views before the construction of St. Mark's Lutheran Church, as well as the church under construction. Also, it is interesting to note the other structures in the area: The Boxley house across Washington Ave. with the columns, Christ Episcopal Church across Franklin Road, Beth Israel Synagogue to the North and other architecturally significant houses on Washington Avenue and Franklin Road.

The Lutheran Synod acquired the property in 1958 and subsequently sold the property to St. Mark's Lutheran Church. In the last year, St. Mark's has created a columbarium and other facilities on that site and the house serves as a daycare center.

October, 2009
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