Preston Avenue

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Preston Avenue is a road in the city of Charlottesville which extends from Ridge-McIntire Road to Barracks Road, connecting North Downtown with the Barracks Road Shopping Center area. The roadway is characterized by a large, landscaped center median featuring an Art In Place installation.

Preston Avenue is lined with a mixture of light industrial and warehouse facilities.[1] The Coca-Cola Building is a notable property on the roadway.


1916 view looking south from Preston Avenue towards downtown Charlottesville with outline of Gas Works in background, King Lumber Company Warehouse in foreground)

Name change

In 2019, City Council voted to change the name to honor Asalie Minor Preston, an African-American educator who taught in segregated schools between 1922 and 1933.[2]


Thomas Lewis Preston (1812-1903) was a business owner, slaveholder, Confederate officer, professor, member of the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia, farmer and author. In 1863, Thomas Lewis and Anna Maria Saunders Preston bought the 102.25-acre Wyndhurst tract from Sally Ann McCoy. According Asalie Minor Preston, when the Civil War ended, Col. Preston divvied up small parcels of his land and gave them to his former slaves,[3] including Asalie's father, Rives Minor.[4]After emancipation, some of the enslaved carried the Preston name and settled nearby.
  • Formerly "Barracks Road, named for the Albemarle Barracks, a prisoner-of-war camp for British prisoners during the American Revolutionary War.
Referred to as “Barrack road” in the will of John H. Craven (1774–1845), the road ran out of the Town of Charlottesville, along his tract of 229 ¼ acres, towards the Albemarle Barracks. An entrance gate to his Rose Hill tract was at this road. Craven purchased the Rose Hill Plantation in 1820.

Repairs were made to the Southern Railway grade-crossing in March 1948. [5]


The Roundabout Study examined the possibility of a double roundabout positioned at the intersection of Preston Avenue and High Street. The concept was ultimately rejected.[1] Although a study of the corridor has been on the Charlottesville Planning Commission's list since 2008, no additional studies have been undertaken.[6]


Coordinates:Erioll world.svg.png 38°02′00″N 78°29′00″E / 38.0334129333496°N -78.4834671020508°W / 38.0334129333496; --78.4834671020508


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Chapter Nine: Urban Design, City of Charlottesville, City of Charlottesville, retrieved April 17, 2012.
  2. Web. City councilors vote to rename Preston Avenue, CBS 19 News, February 5, 2019
  5. Web. A Good Job, Anyway, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 17, 1948, retrieved December 13, 2016 from University of Virginia Library.
  6. Web. City Planning Commission discusses work plan; Preston Avenue study de-prioritized, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 29, 2008, retrieved April 17, 2012.