Downtown Roanoke has sculptures, mosaics, and much more! Learn where you can find art and learn a little about each piece. When you're done, head downtown to see everything in person.
Mayor's Monument - Elmwood Park at corner of Williamson Rd and Elm Ave
Mayor's Monument was originally located at Sixth St and Church Ave in 1893 and went by the name Kimball Tower. The structure was moved around a couple of times before landing in its current spot in Elmwood Park. Created by city leaders, the monument represents Progress of the City of Roanoke. The platform at the bottom lists names of Roanoke's mayors, including current mayor Sherman Lee. Read more.
USS Roanoke Light Cruiser Bell - Roanoke Main Library (706 S Jefferson St)
USS Roanoke Light Cruiser was a Navy ship built by New York Shipbuilding Corporation and named after the City of Roanoke. It only seems fitting that the ship's bell can be found right here in Roanoke at the Main Library's front entrance.
Elmwood Park Art Walk - 98 Bullitt Ave
Elmwood Park is home to 10 sculptures along Bullitt Avenue (between Williamson Road and Jefferson Street). The art is switched out every few years. In fact, the process of installing new sculptures with the theme "Artist at Work" is currently underway. Head to the park to see the new pieces.
Roanoke Valley Sister Cities Sculptures - Century Plaza
Artists: Mimi Babe Harris, Donna Essig
The columns in Century Plaza each represent one of Roanoke's seven sister cities. The bright paint and decorations pay homage to the cultures of the cities.
Located in the museum's sculpture garden, these large abstract pieces made of aluminum were gifted by Brenner Holdings, LLC.
Click here for all the details about Bill Barrett and this exhibit.
Roanoke LOVEwork - Norfolk Ave and Market St
Artist: Eric Fitzpatrick
LOVEworks can be found all across Virginia and Downtown Roanoke is no different. Located near the railroad tracks, this piece is shaped like a train and represents Roanoke's history of the railroad industry. Read more about Roanoke LOVEwork.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial - 1st St NW
Artists: Jeffery and Anna Koh-Varilla
At the north side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge, stands Mr. King himself. The bridge symbolizes the past segregation and division between downtown and the Gainsboro neighborhood, as well as the significance of African American history to our region.
Fallen Firefighter - Virginia Museum of Transportation
Artist: Betty Branch
Created by a local artist, the "Fallen Firefighter" statue is a memorial to those firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Of the 30 names that memorialized on its base, nine are from the Roanoke Valley.
Roanoke Valley War Memorial - 215 Church Ave SW (Lee Plaza)
The three large tablets and one small stone making up the Roanoke Valley War Memorial are surrounded by United States flags in honor local residents who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War One. The marble and bronze plaques are engraved with the names of these residents.
Henrietta Lacks Statue - 410 3rd St SW
Artist: Lawrence Reid Bechtel
Across from the Roanoke Municipal Building stands a statue of Henrietta Lacks, a native Roanoker, whose cancer cells were used in research without her knowledge (or more importantly— her consent) after her death. The statue acts as a permanent memorial and reminder of her contributions to modern science.
Located on the courthouse steps, this piece is a perfect representation of the justice system. In 1989, Breeden gifted Freedom, Justice and Compassion to the courthouse.
Numbers and Golden Angle - Campbell Ave and 3rd St
Artist: John Pierce Wilson
On the corner of Campbell Ave and 3rd St, two sculptures called Numbers and Golden Angle stand tall in a small park full of greenery.
Both were donated by Suzun Hughes and Wilson Hughes Gallery.
Officer Down - 348 Campbell Ave SW
Artist: Lawrence Reid Bechtel
The sculpture directly in front of the police department was created as a memorial to officers killed in the line of duty and serves as a reminder of the daily sacrifices made by officers.
Bechtel had Roanoke police officers pose for photographs that he used as reference material for the sculpture. Read about the process.
Mutated Snail - River's Edge (302 Wiley Dr SW)
Artist: John Wilson
If you've ever used the Greenway at River's Edge to run, bike, or take a walk, you've likely seen this creative sculpture. John Wilson uses his experience building houses to create interesting sculptures from engineering materials, like ropes and steel.
Market Building Mosaics
Artist: Cheryl Foster
As part of the City Market Building's renovation in 2011, four porcelain mosaics were added to the entrances of the building. The images depict scenes with historical significance to the city. At the main entrance is Cornucopia (representing a market vendor), Butcher Man is on Wall St., Banjo Boy can be found on Salem Ave., and N & W Porter is on Market St. Learn more.
Terrapin Station - 137 Kirk Ave
Artists: Steven Paul and Gretchen Coleman
The owner of the building gave the artists free reign over the design. After drawing random lines on paper, this outline was chosen. The mosaic is comprised of several different colors and textures. If you pay close attention, you will see a turtle, several faces, and patterned fish. Much like the Grateful Dead's Terrapin Station, this piece leaves room for interpretation.
Frederick J. Kimball Memorial Fountain - Williamson Rd & Church
Mr. Kimball was Norfolk & Western's second president and first chairman. His friends and family erected this fountain near the station in his honor, and it was later moved to its current location.
The fountain served as a drinking site for humans, horses, and dogs. Horses drank from the front basin, humans from the back, and dogs from the two sides.
Dog's Mouth Fountain - Corner of Salem Ave and Market St
Another (but much smaller) fountain designed for humans and animals sits on the corner near the City Market Building. When the fountain was originally erected in 1898, it included a tin cup that was chained to the structure. Humans would use the cup for drinking while the basins were used to satisfy the thirst of animals.
Beneath the Roundhouse - Market Square, Pedestrian Walkway
Artist: Edwin White
Inside the Pedestrian Walkway, head upstairs and look up. You'll see a large, slowly rotating steel sculpture. A roundhouse is a circular building or space with a turntable mechanism used by railroad companies to service and store locomotives. The Pedestrian Walkway is the perfect location for this piece since it overlooks the railyard.