Almost all of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century houses around Railroad Hill were constructed by the Roanoke Land and Improvement Company, a development subsidiary of the railroad. They are part of Gainsboro, now incorporated into Roanoke, but once a small mid-nineteenth-century community. From its beginnings, the neighborhood was a diverse ethnic community, but is now predominantly African American. Gainsboro, knit by starbrick sidewalks and mature trees and shrubs, has an architectural unity that defines an established neighborhood. The houses are generally single-family, two-story frame buildings with front porches featuring turned posts and often having sawn-baluster railings. Gables, dormers, stained glass transoms over entrances, and an occasional facade of rock-faced concrete block are repeated in slightly varied ways.
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Gainsboro Neighborhood Houses
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