It will not return to its original use as long had been hoped, but a proposal to turn the former Green Valley Pharmacy into an eatery will breathe new life into a structure that has been vacant for several years.
And it comes as county-government officials are, slowly but surely, wrapping up work on the John Robinson Jr. Town Square located across Shirlington Road from the building.
Members of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) this week will consider a proposal to permit several exterior adjustments to the former Green Valley Pharmacy, which was operated by Leonard “Doc” Muse from 1952 until his death in 2017.
The building was declared a local historic district by the Arlington County government in 2013, giving HALRB members a say in exterior alterations. A Times Square Grill restaurant is slated to go in the space, and approval by HALRB members of its proposal is among the items on the to-do list on the proposal’s journey to hoped-for County Board approval.
Staff in principle supports the requested exterior changes. Having a new tenant “would return to life a vacant business which served as the center of the Green Valley community for decades,” said county historic-preservation planner Serena Bollinger, who added that current requirements make it unfeasible for the building to return to its use as a pharmacy.
The building was constructed in 1942 and originally served as a grocery store in what was then the segregated community of Green Valley (also known as Nauck). Muse acquired the site in the early 1950s with a partner; a few years later, he became sole proprietor. Muse continued to run the pharmacy with the assistance of family members and others until his death at the age of 94.
Efforts were made following Muse’s death to continue service, but the pharmacy – located at 2415 Shirlington Road – eventually closed.