Lost Communities of Virginia Project

Have you driven through Virginia and seen the remnants of small communities?  The signs announcing arrival in a place where there are no visible signs of life?  The old general store, now closed and maybe even used as a hay barn, that once teemed with activity?  The railroad tracks leading to nowhere, now overgrown, once connecting the community with the broader world?  The Lost Communities of Virginia project began with a curiosity about such places.

Curiosity resulted in a drive by survey of 2,600 small communities in the Commonwealth.  Of these small places, 548 of them still retaining buildings were photographed.  With the help of professors from Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, the list was narrowed to 30 communities that covered the breadth of Virginia’s geography, history, and community types.  These 30 communities became the focus of the Lost Communities of Virginia book by CDAC Outreach Coordinator Terri Fisher and former CDAC Architecture Intern Kirsten Sparenborg. Learn more...

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Lost Communities of Virginia is an award-winning book! 


Lost Communities of Virginia

Southern Driving Tour


Backroads of Southwest Virginia Driving Tour

brochures are available electronically,

at our office, and

and at local tourism outlets!


Fundraising continues to document more of Virginia's once-booming communities in driving tour brochures before their history and buildings disappear:

  • Checks may be made payable to the "Virginia Tech Foundation Inc.", and should include the words "For the Community Design Assistance Center - Lost Communities of Virginia project" in the memo line, and should be mailed to:
               Office of Gift Accounting
               University Development (0336), Virginia Tech
               University Gateway Center, 902 Prices Fork Road
               Blacksburg, VA 24060
  • Donations via credit card may be made through Virginia Tech's secure online giving page using the "Give Now" Button below. Please be sure to choose "Enter your own" to type "Community Design Assistance Center - Lost Communities of Virginia project" in the designation field of the giving form.

Thank you for your support!