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)


In 1939, Frank W. Hoffer, Sociology Professor at the University of Virginia, recommended to the city that Preston Avenue be widened before the new high school for white students opened before costs became prohibitive. City Manager Seth Burnley told the Kiwanis Club in November of that year that the road would be widened ten feet on the north side between the old Southern Railway tracks and High Street. [2]

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.[3]


2022-Honorary Street Asalie Minor Preston.JPG
Note: In 1863, Thomas Lewis Preston, an ex-business owner, ex-Confederate officer, slaveholder and farmer, purchased a 102-acre parcel of farmland adjacent to the roadway then know as “Barrack road”. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Col. Preston divvied up small parcels of his land and gave them to his former slaves. A significant number of former enslaved who carried the Preston name, including the family of Asalie's husband, Leroy "Roy" C. Preston, owned and lived along the roadway.
  • Formerly "Barracks road". As a main roadway, it lead directly out of Charlottesville to the Albemarle Barracks, a prisoner-of-war camp (1779-1780) for British prisoners during the American Revolutionary War.
Note: 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.

Construction projects

Repairs were made to the Southern Railway grade-crossing in March 1948. [4]

Improvement studies

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.[5]


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. Preston Ave. Will Be Made Broader, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, November 24, 1939, retrieved November 24, 2022. Print. November 24, 1939 page 1.
  3. Web. City councilors vote to rename Preston Avenue, CBS 19 News, February 5, 2019
  4. 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.
  5. Web. City Planning Commission discusses work plan; Preston Avenue study de-prioritized, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 29, 2008, retrieved April 17, 2012.