Author: Don Harrison

Out of the Dark

The F.A. Roethke Building was left to rot. The former home of the region’s oldest car dealership, this two-story warehouse was once a thriving symbol of 20th-century progress and ingenuity. Originally constructed in 1915, it doesn’t fit the standard structural…

Art Unveiled

The older man loved to wander around the Chrysler Museum galleries. Lurking among the early modernist paintings and Tiffany glassware, the modestly-dressed septuagenarian would approach random visitors and ask, “‘What do you think about this piece?’ or ‘Do you like…

Rock Of Ages

At an age when most buildings are getting torn down or argued over by preservationists, The NorVa theatre has been reborn as “the best live music venue in America.” Not bad for a 96-year-old brick old-timer with a wraparound balcony,…

The President’s Analyst

It’s always been hard to tell if Bill Schneider is a Republican or a Democrat. The veteran TV personality, author and educator likes it that way. “I take pride in the fact that people are always saying to me that…

Reading The Buildings

Carl Lounsbury is used to letting folks down gently. “Their buildings are often not as old as people think they are,” Lounsbury, senior architectural historian at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, says about people who send the museum photographs of their…

Sexuality in Service

It was the lip lock felt ’round the world. When the U.S.S. Oak Hill came home to Virginia Beach on Dec. 21, 2011 after a long deployment, Petty Officer 2nd class Marissa Gaeta kissed her girlfriend, Citlalic Snell, to commemorate…

Singing It Pretty

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is hardly the place you’d think of finding a trio of singing South Norfolk country cowboys. But among the recent additions to the Cleveland music museum’s collection is the original recording console that…

Red Hot Cross

Robert Cross is thinking ahead. “I’m putting the finishing touches on the 2014 festival right now,” the executive and artistic director of the Virginia Arts Festival says. “It’s just the way the cycle works. I have 2014 done and a…

A City Separated

Andrew Heidelberg wondered what the commotion was about. “Why are all of these guys walking past the shower, looking at me,” he asked a white friend one day after PE. “Andy, I don’t think you’d believe me if I told…

Soldier of God

It isn’t every day that an ordained minister refers to himself as a national terrorist threat. But Reverend Donald Spitz isn’t your ordinary man of the cloth. “I used to get a lot of media attention when things were hot,”…