801 East Main Street
Salem, Virginia 24153
(540)389-6760 info@salemmuseum.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

About the Williams-Brown House

In 1845, William C. Williams constructed his unique brick home and store at the eastern end of downtown Salem, Va. A merchant and hotelier by trade, Williams also became an amateur builder of some reputation, most notably designing the first Roanoke County courthouse (1841-1909). His house, the last known of his structures to survive, served as a store and residence.

After Williams’ death in 1852, the house passed to his daughter and son-in-law Mary and Joshua Brown. They continued to operate the store and live in the house until their son, William E. Brown, took it over after the Civil War. The Williams-Brown House stayed in the same family for the better part of a century.

After the deaths of William Brown and his wife Carrie, the house passed through several stages. It was a Roanoke College fraternity house for a while, served briefly as office space, and was carved up into apartments for much of the twentieth century. In 1970, the house became the first in Salem listed on the national Register of Historic Places. But by the 1980s, it was vacant and dilapidated, and the owner at the time wanted to raze the building and develop the lot.

Enter the Salem Historical Society. Concerned with such an historic building being lost from main Street, the group convinced the owner to donate the building on the condition it be moved from the original site at the corner of Craig Ave. and Main Street. After securing a tract nearby Logwood Park, SHS relocated the grand old building in 1987. After extensive renovations, the Salem Museum opened in 1992.

Over time SHS outgrew the space available in the Williams-Brown House, and the board of directors began to envision a major expansion project. Two goals were adopted from the start: To preserve the historic integrity of the original house, and to protect the environment with cutting-edge environmental design. A capital campaign to raise the necessary funds commenced, and soon over $2.7 million was raised from the state and local governments, private foundations, corporations, and interested individuals. The expanded Salem Museum re-opened to the public on September 25th, 2010.

The Greenest Building in Town:

Leadership in in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

and the Salem Museum

“LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” —The United States Green Building Council

“LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” —The United States Green Building Council

From the beginning of the Salem Museum building program, the Board of Directors stipulated two primary objectives: to preserve the historic integrity of the 1845 Williams-Brown House, and to protect the environment with ecological design and practices. A measure of this latter goal will be LEED certification, a recognition that our building was planned and constructed with the environment in mind. Although LEED certification cannot be completed until Phase II of the building is concluded, we are well on the way. The Salem Museum is the first building in Salem to register for LEED certification and the only museum in western Virginia to pursue that goal.

Our LEED features include :

 · Environmentally sensitive construction techniques

· A water-efficient landscaping plan including native plant restoration

· “Brownfield” restoration—site of an old gas station

· Location along a bus route for alternative transportation

· Use of recycled materials in construction

· An environmentally sensitive construction waste management plan

· Utilization of lumber certified environmentally friendly

· Low flow plumbing fixtures and energy efficient HVAC systems

· A rainwater reclamation system and run-off management

· Innovative LED lighting fixtures and sensitive use of natural light in gallery areas

· An indoor air quality management plan

· Pioneering use of a “green roof” terrace overlooking Longwood Park

· Low emission paints, adhesives, and varnishes

· And more!

The Salem Museum is proud to be the greenest building in Salem!

Many thanks to: 

· Architect: Jennifer Smith Lewis, SmithLewis Architecture of Salem

· Contractor: G&H Contracting, Salem— Sheldon Henderson, President

· Our many supporters and donors!