Blacksburg 16 Squares
“The original Town of Blacksburg was laid out in a grid, on land that was donated by William Black, for whom the Town is named. Five streets running NE to SW cross five other streets running NW to SE. Each square or block was then divided into four equal lots, creating a total of 64 building lots in the original Town layout. This plan created the “16 Squares” that we refer to today. In most cases when buyers of the lots built their homes, they placed the house at the corner of the streets, and then used the land behind their house for farming and animals. You can still see that pattern in some of the blocks, where the oldest houses are on the corners, and the houses in between were added later as the lots were sub-divided.”
Since Blacksburg was chartered by the Virginia Legislature in 1798, it has had over two centuries of development. This provides a unique opportunity to capture the dynamics of change and place across time by employing such technologies as virtual and augmented reality. By creating a multilayered and sophisticated program, not only does this provide a factual history of this town, but also an educational treasure about the successes and challenges of civic life capturing the extensive emotions that people experienced as they lived at various times.
ICAT 2014-2015 Major Sead Grant
Thomas Tucker, School of Visual Arts Thomas M. Sherman, School of Education Todd Ogle, Applied Research and Planning Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies David Hicks, School of Education David Kline, Department of History