Stories of Preservation and Progress

This presentation by Rev. Charlotte Lehmann of BRUU and Rev. Milton Rogers of Grace United Methodist is about the church building, designed by Albert Speiden, that has been in continuous use as a church since its construction in the 1920’s. The video recording of the presentation from Dec 11, 2022. It was featured as part of Manassas Museum programming.

Stories of Preservation Flyer

For more background, see Our Building at the Corner of Church and Main Streets


Change is constant, as reflected by development of the lot across Main Street from BRUU.  It was a farm field in July 1861, when Confederate forces won the Battle of Manassas nearby.  They then established a base at Centreville.  Food, hay, and ammunition was brought by railroad to the junction of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and the Manassas Gap Railroad.  Wagons struggled to carry the supplies to Centreville, so the Confederates built a six-mile military railroad from the junction across Bull Run.  That innovative railroad operated only briefly in February-March 1862.  Trains passed south of the current BRUU building, which was constructed 65 years later.

The Prince William Hotel was constructed in 1912, and replaced by the Pitts Theater (with a segregated balcony) in 1935.  The theater was torched in 1950 by a projectionist who stole a Shirley Temple film and set the fire to cover up the crime.

The Jackson Hotel replaced the Pitts Theater.  It was replaced in the 1960’s by the Manassas Downtowner, renamed the Olde Towne Inn in 1973.  The coffee shop there had a corner known as the Roundtable, where the movers and shakers in Prince William County gathered daily to network.

The Old Towne Inn survived a fire in 1994.  As reported in the Washington Post, the fire received national coverage because the media had congregated in Manassas to cover the Bobbitt trial.

In 2023, the City of Manassas purchased the parcel and tore down the motel.  Look for the city to sell the parcel so a new motel can be constructed there in the future, with perhaps three stories facing BRUU and five stories set back from the street.