COVER SIDEBOX- Station celebration: O. Winston Link Museum
Organizing curator: Tom Garver, an art historian and former Link agent who assisted Link on three photo/sound junkets in the late 1950s
Museum manager: John M. "Jay" Saunders Jr.
Location: Former N&W passenger station next to famed Hotel Roanoke
Size: 15,000 in a 27,000-sq.-ft. building
Re-built: 1947 by renowned industrial designer Raymond Loewy in the art moderne style
Heyday: 1950s when passengers could board five main rail lines in all directions
Nayday: The railroad cubiclized the station after Amtrak took over American passenger rail in 1971 and then took Roanoke off the map. In 1991, the railroad demolished the passenger concourse to allow double-decker freights to pass.
Donated: 1997 by Norfolk Southern
Restored: 2003 for $9.1 million
Exterior architectural features: Brick, limestone, and glass
Interior architectural features: Brushed aluminum columns, travertine marble, and terrazzo floors
Contents: 190 signed prints, 85 estate prints, all 2,400 negatives, Link's photo equipment, and a "virtual rail experience" to towns Link shot
Other occupant of the old station: The Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau
Room with a view: A little glassed promontory offers a view of the historic "East End Shops," the holy grail of engine manufacturing for N&W rail buffs
Iron horse bonus: Norfolk Southern donated locomotive #1218 (Link's favorite) for display at the nearby Virginia Museum of Transportation
Official opening: Saturday, January 10
Invited honchos: Governor Mark Warner, U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Roanoke Mayor Ralph Smith, Norfolk Southern Chairman David Goode, Miss Virginia Nancy Redd; and the son of the artist, W. Conway Link
Not invited: Conchita Mendoza Link and Edward Hayes
But almost present anyway: Festivities include a speech from Link's lawyer entitled "The Trouble with Conchita."
The museum, located at 101 Shenandoah Avenue in downtown Roanoke, is open Monday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Adult admission is $5. 540-982-LINK; linkmuseum.org
This former passenger station was designed in 1947 by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy.
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO