Loudoun Co. reaches deal on renaming Route 7 in Purcellville

A compromise has been reached over renaming Route 7 in Loudoun County, Virginia.

The county says that the name of Leesburg Pike will be consistent throughout the county, except in Purcellville. There, the road will bear the name of Billy Pierce, an African American choreographer born in Purcellville.

The town council’s unanimous vote to accept the name Leesburg Pike for Route 7 as it passes through town created a secondary, commemorative name within the confines of Purcellville: Billy Pierce Memorial Pike.

The county fire chief and the head of the county mapping office assured the town council at its April 12 meeting that computer-aided dispatch systems for police and fire, Apple Maps and Waze can accommodate the secondary name along with the primary name.

“We can put in Leesburg Pike and we can make aliases to a number of different names —Leesburg Pike, Route 7, Billy Pierce Memorial Pike,” said Fire Chief Keith Johnson.

The name change follows a county decision to remove Harry Byrd’s name from Route 7 because the former governor and senator opposed desegregation.

Billy Pierce danced in Vaudeville before operating a renowned dance studio in New York City.

The town of Purcellville, Virginia, will name its stretch of Route 7 after famous choreographer Billy Pierce. (Courtesy Balch Library)

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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