A few years ago I discovered that the 1911 stone house next to Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, VA was built by and was the home of my great-great grandfather, Michael Grosso. I wrote about that discovery here.
My husband and I love to visit Black Dog Salvage and when I learned that the owners were restoring the stone house, I was thrilled. I contacted Black Dog Salvage and asked if they would let me tour the home since I have a family connection and they graciously agreed. My mom, aunt, and cousin joined me for a tour of this beautifully restored home.
The Stone House at Black Dog Salvage is now available as a vacation rental or event space. You can get information about the house and how to rent it here.
The day that we visited there was a lot of work going on in the house, so you’ll see tape on the walls, things out of place, and shopping bags and boxes. To see the finished product, be sure to visit this page on the Black Dog website.
Are you ready for a tour? Robert Kulp, you may know him from Salvage Dawgs on tv, graciously showed us around the house. We’ll start on the outside.
The Stone House at Black Dog Salvage
My grandmother used to tell me that she would ride the bus from Vinton to go see her grandfather because he would give her a quarter. For a long time I had no idea where she went in Roanoke. She told me that the house was beside a dry cleaner and across from a bridge. You can imagine my surprise when I finally saw the house for myself.
The Black Dog Salvage crew has done a magnificent job of restoring this old home. Robert believes that Michael Grosso constructed this home using surplus stone from other projects he completed around Roanoke.
Note that the carvings on the front porch pillars match those on the Old Roanoke Post Office shown below. The post office was built in the 1880’s and demolished in the 1930’s. Also note the gargoyles on the post office turret. A gargoyle matching these was unearthed behind the house and is now outside of the front deck at Black Dog Salvage.
The porch ceiling is “haint blue”, a southern tradition.
A pathway leads to the rear of the house where there will be two porches to enjoy.
The steps that lead to the lower deck were salvage from an old cabin that had fallen down at Smith Mountain Lake.
Here is another view of the lower deck. They were hard at work on it in extreme heat the day that we visited.
Here you can see the back of the house and get a view of the two decks that it will have. Where you see the ladder on the lower deck is a window turned door that leads to the kitchen. The upper deck is accessed through a door in the hallway.
The house is adjacent to the Roanoke Greenway, a very nice bike path that winds its way through the city.
Inside – First Floor
The first floor has been updated and now has a living room, media room, dining room, kitchen, and a half bath.
The day that we visited, crews of people were working hard to get everything in the home finished and ready to be rented. You’ll see bags and boxes in my pictures as the home that day was a work in progress. To see the finished product pictures, go here.
To the left of the foyer is the living room which is spacious and would be a good gathering spot for a party.
The doors on the left and right side of the fireplace lead to the media room. I tried to jot down the details as Robert told them to us, so I hope I’m accurate to say that the left door isn’t original and the transom glass above both doors is 1910-15.
Beautiful original art is featured throughout the home. My guess is that it is all for sale.
The mantel looks like wood but it’s all painted stone. From a previous tour of this house before it was restored, I think that this room was used for filming Salvage Dogs.
The former kitchen is now a media room.
Oak barn wood was used on the walls.
Who wouldn’t enjoy watching tv in this room?
Note that more original art is displayed in this space.
To the right of the foyer is the dining room.
A striking feature in the room is this beautiful light fixture.
This is a view of the dining room from the kitchen.
The dining room also contains an original fireplace. The art hanging over the fireplace is by Maria Driscoll who is married to a descendant of my great-great aunt Lizzy, daughter of Michael Grosso.
The kitchen has all of the bells and whistles that you would expect in a modern home. It also contains many repurposed items. I believe the lights are from a train house in Clifton Forge and the island was custom built by Black Dog Salvage using some materials from a 1700’s Route 11 road house.
The spacious foyer showcases the beautiful staircase leading to the bedrooms upstairs. Tucked behind the staircase in what was a hall is a half-bathroom.
Have you ever seen dust corners on steps?
Upstairs has three bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom.
The large master bedroom has a king sized bed and a large bathroom.
Furniture is from the Black Dog furniture line. Also note the original artwork.
Behind the sliding barn door in the master bath is a room for the toilet. To the left of the toilet is a shower.
The room also has a double sided vanity and a tub salvaged from a Philadelphia mansion.
This expansion tank is original to the house.
The bedroom at the top of the steps has a queen bed, called the Caroline Bed, named for Robert’s daughter.
The bathroom has heated floors and a custom shower.
This bedroom also has a queen bed and its own bathroom. The room has two gigantic windows which flood it with light.
The bathroom is charming and has everything that a guest would need to be very comfortable.
The upstairs hall has a coffee bar, laundry closet, and a seating area.
The laundry closet is the left door and the right door leads to the attic.
Note how large the windows are in this home.
The upstairs hall lights are from the Robert E. Lee hotel in Lexington.
The door at the top of the steps leads to an upstairs balcony.
Robert shared that the basement of the house was lowered by 1 1/2 feet for a future catering kitchen and apartment.
Rent This House
After seeing this home, wouldn’t you like to stay here? I know I would!
Thanks to Black Dog Salvage for restoring this home and for sharing a tour of it with me.