Dear Friends –
WELCOME to our first Blog Post!
My name is Heather Knopp, and I LOVE Lynchburg. Our hope here at “Love, Lynchburg” is to show you why we LOVE it here and how we can inspire you to LOVE it, too! So whether you already live here, or are interested in traveling here, this website and blog posts aim to give you information and insight into our LOVE-able little city!
Brian and I moved here 21 years ago this month. – July of 1999. Neither of us had ever heard much about Lynchburg, other than as the home of a world-renowned pastor, college chancellor, and political figure. What we found when we moved here was a beautiful little city, perched almost precariously on the rolling Eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, alongside the historic James River, filled with trees, history, and friendly people.
The first year here, we took our two boys, aged 3 and 7 at the time, on many explorations and adventures. From nationally-known icons like the stunning Natural Bridge and the somber Appomattox Courthouse National Battlefield Park, to local treasures like Old City Cemetery and the Blackwater Creek Natural Area, we did it all, and often more than once.
We have watched the riverfront transform from an untended grassy space surrounded by railroad tracks, rock cliffs and abandoned warehouses, into a vibrant, half-mile esplanade sporting restaurants, event spaces, loft apartments, a children’s museum, and a well-tended park for outdoor festivals and concerts.
We’ve been impressed with the level of public/private partnerships that have provided anchors for downtown revival, with Bluffwalk Center to the East, and Amazement Square and the Academy Center for the Arts to the West. Between these anchors, along Jefferson, Commerce, Main, and Church Streets, a flotilla of stores, restaurants, and other businesses have moored, drawing shoppers, diners, and thousands of new residents to the downtown area. Where old, empty buildings and tired facades had once given off an atmosphere of resignation and wishful thinking, positive energy now hums through the air. For decades, residents once only worked in the large banks and insurance companies that still held out downtown, rushing home at quitting time, afraid to linger. Now, every apartment and condo unit in a rehabbed former shoe factory, flour mill, or office building is rented, and more are being put on the market every year to accommodate all the people who want to make downtown their home.
We LOVE watching transformations take place!
Of course there is so much more to LOVE about Lynchburg than Downtown, but it seems a fitting place to start. In this blog you will find stories of people and places that we LOVE from all over the area. We’ll cover historic people, places, and events, along with a host of current residents who make up the unique and colorful fabric of Lynchburg.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and Subscribe to our weekly update emails to stay in touch and learn more! We look forward to sharing the Lynchburg LOVE with you!
Until next time!