The Miller Building
Constructed by local businesswoman Maude P. Miller in 1930, the three-story Miller Building was designed as a mixed-use space. The bottom floor housed the town's first theater, the ground floor was used by a pharmacy, and the top floor was reserved for apartment space. Miller's conceptualization of the building as a mixed-use space reflects the prominence of mixed-use spaces in Pearisburg during the early twentieth century. The Miller Building was one of nineteen buildings added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 that comprise the Pearisburg Historic District. The building reflects the economic growth of Pearisburg and the popular mixed-use format of many local businesses during the early twentieth century.
Backstory and Context
In 1930, local businesswoman Maude P. Miller (1886-1974) constructed the three-story Miller Building as a mixed-use space. As with other local retail spaces during this time, the top floor was reserved for apartment space, but the ground floor and basement were designated as commercial space. The ground floor housed a pharmacy that likely filled prescriptions for the St. Elizabeth's Hospital just down the street, and the basement housed the town's first theater, an important development that created a social space and provided recreational opportunities for locals and visitors to the town. The theater remained open from 1930 to 1939, when it was supplanted by the Pearis Theater. In the 1940 Land Book, the Miller Building was valued at $4,800, the second most valuable building just behind the Pearis Theater.
The Miller Building was placed on the Virginia Landmark Register on December 11th, 1991, and the National Register of Historic Places on January 30th, 1992, as one of nineteen buildings comprising the Pearisburg Historic District. The building reflects the economic growth and development of Pearisburg and the popular mixed-use format of many local businesses during the early twentieth century.
Fisher, Terri L. Giles County (Then & Now). Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
Kern, John. Pearisburg Historic District, National Register of Historic Places. January 30th 1992. Accessed October 23rd 2019. https://www.dhr.virginia.gov/VLR_to_transfer/PDFNoms/279-0012_Pearisburg_Historic_District_1992_Final
Maude P. Miller, People Legacy. Accessed November 30th 2019. https://peoplelegacy.com/maude_p__miller-0H7=041._Nomination.pdf.