(Pre) Historic Arch on Selling Block

Two commercial real estate firms are marketing a genuinely unique piece of real estate for sale: Natural Bridge, a 500 million-year-old limestone arch that gave Rockbridge County, Va., its name.

Edward Koepenick of Sperry Van Ness in Lynchburg, Va., and Summit Commercial Real Estate in Washington, D.C. are marketing the 215-foot high geological oddity, along with 1,600 acres that include a restaurant, 154-room hotel and conference center, wax museum, toy museum, “haunted monster” museum and potential sites for future development.

The arch was included among the Seven Natural Wonders of the New World in the 18th and 19th centuries, and continues to attract more than 200,000 visitors annually. In a passage of Moby Dick, Herman Melville even compares the White Whale arching above the sea to “Virginia’s Natural Bridge.”

Thomas Jefferson first purchased Natural Bridge and 157 surrounding acres from the British crown in 1774. Local legend holds that the initials “G.W.” carved into the stone were left by a young George Washington, who surveyed the property in 1750.

The property is being marketed without an asking price. The current owners purchased the property 18 years ago, but are ready to sell and retire, according to the listing brokers.

Natural Bridge generates revenue from entry fees to Natural Bridge and the Natural Bridge Caverns in addition to the themed museums. The Bridge is a National Historic Landmark, a Virginia Historic Landmark, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“The property has great value-add potential in both enhancing the hotel as well as an abandoned golf course that could be developed into a residential community,” Koepenick says.

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