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New Town Exhibit | Video Showcase

A few traces of the New Town community are left in Blacksburg, but for the most part, this historic area has been lost to development, expansion and growth. Like many people, you may not have even heard of New Town. As cities change and evolve, it can be a challenge to find the balance between embracing what is new and preserving the memory of what is gone. That’s where Virginia Tech’s Public History program comes in.

The program strives to uncover and highlight the history of lost, forgotten or marginalized groups and events. New Town, a predominantly African American community, grew along with Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) for the better part of a century. As Virginia Tech continued expanding into the large university we know today, overtime the New Town community dissolved. In the early 2000s, that area of Blacksburg was redeveloped, wiping away most remaining traces of New Town.

This experiential exhibit emphasizes the geography and spatial dynamics of a community that played a significant role in the history of Blacksburg, Montgomery County and Virginia Tech.

Hear more about the New Town community and get a behind the scenes look at how this course exhibit was created:

Learn more about Virginia Tech’s Public History program here: