Board of Architectural Review Denies Afton Inn Demolition
14 September 2017 News
After a 55-minute work session discussion on Tuesday (September 12) night, the Front Royal Board of Architectural Review voted unanimously to deny an application to demolish the 149-year-old Afton Inn. For two decades the 3-story brick structure has stood deteriorating at the head of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District.
The Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority has been marketing the property for the Town of Front Royal for two years since the Town agreed to a swap of the old Town Hall building that the town government had outgrown for the Afton Inn. After several proposals to renovate failed due to cost variables, the EDA brought Northern Virginia Development group MODE Partnership’s proposal to demolish and rebuild to the Town on July 28.
Several work sessions and an August 22nd public hearing indicated a mixed public opinion. However, several downtown business owners urged approval of the demolition plan with guarantees a historic-based rebuild would occur. But the late introduction of an alternate renovation plan submitted by Winchester-based Urban Development Partners swayed the Architectural Board to its preference for preservation over demolition.