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Commercial Building (Miller Brothers General Merchandise Store)

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Miller Brothers General Merchandise Store
c. 1905. VA 796 at VA 42

This is one of Giles County's best-preserved crossroads stores. Of frame construction with weatherboard siding, the store's two-story, three-bay facade with large storefront windows is not unusual for the type, but the use of pilasters on the main facade is an unexpected refinement. The building's corner siting is reflected in the hierarchical placement of its two cornice designs. Elevations along the two street frontages feature grandly scaled cornices, whereas a third elevation has a cornice that is little more than a collection of small brackets tacked to an unmolded frieze board. The interior retains a pressed-metal ceiling, a ubiquitous feature of stores dating from this period.

Diagonally opposite the former store (1902) built for merchant F. E. Dunklee, who also was proprietor of Mountain Lake Resort (GI8) in the late nineteenth century, is a rare rural example of a prefabricated pressed-metal storefront. The facade's second-story metal panels and cornices have ornate embossed neoclassical designs.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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