Historic Manassas, Inc.

May 30, 2023

Manassas' Historic Olde Towne Inn: From Motor Inn to City's Vision for Revitalization

The City of Manassas recently made a significant acquisition that promises to breathe new life into the heart of its historic downtown. The iconic Olde Towne Inn, an old hotel with a rich history, has been purchased by the city, setting the stage for an exciting transformation. As we explore the past and envision the future, join us on a journey through time to discover the captivating story behind this beloved establishment.

Originally constructed in 1964, the building was known as the "Manassas Motor Inn" and boasted 20 cozy rooms. It was the brainchild of William C. Brown, an ambitious entrepreneur who envisioned a comfortable and accessible accommodation option for visitors to the vibrant city of Manassas. Situated on the corner of Main Street and Center Street, the Manassas Motor Inn became a familiar landmark within the community.

The Arrival of Olde Towne Inn

In 1970, the hotel changed hands and was purchased by John D. Smith, who bestowed upon it a new identity: the "Olde Towne Inn." Smith, recognizing the potential of the establishment, embarked on a series of renovations that would further enhance its appeal. Among the notable additions were a refreshing swimming pool and a restaurant that would soon become a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

This is the flyer that the Manassas Motor Inn distributed to attract its visitors in the 1960s and 1970s. One of its attractions is that it was only 25 miles over "speedy highways" from Washington DC.
Modernity. The Manassas Motor Inn offered several outstanding amenities for its time, including telephones, free television, and air conditioning. In addition, they had a swimming pool that was the attraction of many families.

A Legacy Transformed

For over two decades, the Olde Towne Inn remained in the hands of the Smith family, serving as a gathering place for visitors and contributing to the vibrant atmosphere of the city's historic center. In 1996, a new chapter unfolded as the Shingala family, Gita and Dharmesh, took over the reins of this cherished establishment. Committed to preserving the inn's heritage while infusing it with modern amenities, the Shingalas undertook additional renovations, introducing a fitness center and a business center to meet the evolving needs of their guests.

The Olde Towne Inn was for decades one of Manassas's renowned landmarks. Now that it belongs to the city, they are asking the community to participate in the conversations to decide what to do with this space that will now be public. Public hearings will be held June 8 and June 13 in Centerfuse, Manassas.

In a landmark decision, the City of Manassas acquired the Olde Towne Inn in February 2023, heralding an era of exciting possibilities. With an eye toward revitalization, the city plans to embark on a transformative journey, redeveloping the property into a vibrant mixed-use facility that seamlessly blends residential, commercial, and office spaces.

Manassas Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger, center, along with Mark Olsen, left, and Ross Snare, right, both members of the Historic Manassas, Inc. Board of Directors, witnessed the moment that the Olde Towne Inn sign was taken down, marking a new beginning for the city of Manassas.

With the city's acquisition, a new chapter begins, one that holds the promise of a bustling mixed-use development that will inject fresh energy into the heart of Manassas. As we bid farewell to the Olde Towne Inn as we know it, let us eagerly await the unfolding of this exciting new venture, one that will honor the past while embracing the future.

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