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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Narrows Commercial Historic District
Reference Number 14000301
State Virginia
County Giles
Town Narrows
Street Address 100-300 block Main St. 100 block Mary St., 100 block MacArthur Lane, 100 block Monroe Street. 100 block Center Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 6/4/2014
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The Narrows Commercial Historic District is eligible for National Register designation under Criteria A and C as the commercial center of the town and the surrounding region that developed due to its strategic location along the New River and major transportation routes. Originally settled in the late 18th century at the narrow gap in the mountains where the New River passed, the community ofNarrows developed along the Cumberland Gap Turnpike, the route of which formed the two main streets in the district. The town grew over the years as various industries, including mills, tan yards, power plants and railroad-related industries took advantage of the natural resources and transportation routes. The arrival of the Norfolk & Western Railway in 1882, followed by the Virginian Railway in 1907-1909, established Narrows as the major industrial town in the region and the largest town in Giles County. As the town exists today, with many of its commercial buildings dating to the 1940s and later, the district reflects the tremendous growth Narrows experienced after the establishment of the nearby Celco Plant in 1939 and the plant's dominance as a global industry after World War II. The district is eligible for listing on the local level of significance in the areas of transportation, commerce, education, and architecture. The period of significance for the district ranges from 1882, with the construction of the railroad and depot, through 1963 when the United States Postal Service built a new post office in downtown Narrows. By this date, nearly all of the resources in the district had been constructed and the commercial district served as the center of commerce, industry, government services and education for the Town of Narrows and the surrounding area of Giles County. The peak of employment and operations ofthe Celco Plant, which supported much of the growth and commerce in Narrows, continued through the third quarter of the twentieth century before environmental regulations and foreign competition began to impact the plant's operations.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria