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On the Air

A 1930s art deco radio station becomes a stylish home.

Will Trinkle has brought some Big Apple style to Roanoke, Va.

After living in New York City for more than a decade, Trinkle moved back to his hometown but maintained a bit of his metropolitan lifestyle by converting an old radio station into a trendy loft. Built in 1936, the machine-age art deco building had served as the town’s first radio station, WDBJ-AM.

Although far from the hubbub of New York, the station hosted top celebrities back in its day including Gene Autry, Shirley Temple and Hank Williams. Trinkle retained many of the interesting features of the original radio station such as the glass windows separating studios and the art deco lighting. The large studio once used for live performances became a spacious living room and a smaller studio was converted to a master bedroom. The control room is now a hospitable guest room and features the best view in the building of downtown Roanoke. Trinkle now has the best of both worlds: city living in his hometown radio station.

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