SURFACING – Riverside Lynchburg, VA, Builds on its History

SURFACING; Riverside Lynchburg, Va., Builds on Its History

CHAT with shopkeepers in Lynchburg, Va., and you’ll probably get an earful on the city’s history. Vendors all seem to know their building’s original function: a blacksmith shop, a Civil War hospital, tobacco storage. Developers in this town of about 75,000 have taken pains to preserve the historic feel of the downtown area, which, until a few years ago, was mired in decay. Now, loft apartments, art studios, restaurants and a tearoom fill the hulking warehouses and factories along the banks of the James River. But not everything on the riverfront has changed: during a recent visit, I could hear the whistle of a passing coal train over the clatter of brunch. COLLEEN KINDER

PHOTOS: OMNITERRUM: 1225 Main Street, (434) 847-4788 A casual collector of globes for years, Kim Soerensen now displays her stunning collection in this showroom — the only store in the United States entirely devoted to globes, she says. And if you’re just a browser, she’s happy to point out the world history evident on each antique orb.; CRADDOCK TERRY HOTEL: 1312 Commerce Street, (434) 455-1500 In 2007, when Hal Craddock, great-grandson of the town shoe mogul, converted his family’s old shoe factory into a boutique hotel, he didn’t forget about footwear. A red pump adorns the facade, vintage lace-up boots decorate the lobby, and breakfast comes to your room in a converted shoeshine box. Rooms from $169.; THE WHITE HART CAFE: 1208 Main Street, (434) 455-1659 This cafe — which looks like a saloon, doubles as a bookstore and fries its own apple pies ($3.50) — has become a gathering spot for Lynchburg youth. And unlike many local businesses, it stays open on Sundays.; JEFFERSON STREET BREWERY AND WATERSTONE PIZZA: 1309 Jefferson Street, (434) 455-1515, This brewery, opened in 2008, has circumvented strict liquor laws by partnering with an adjacent wood-oven pizza parlor. At Waterstone Pizza, ales like an oatmeal stout from next door are served with thin-crust pizzas. Sample all five brews with a flight ($8.75). (PHOTOGRAPHS BY COLLEEN KINDER FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)

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