Mission & History
In 1935, Historic Richmond Foundation (HRF) was formed from the ideals of environmental respect and architectural legacy.
It is with great pleasure that HRF works alongside neighborhood associations, nonprofit partners, educational institutions, businesses, local and state governments to achieve shared success for our built environment. With the continued support of these partners, the mission of HRF is realized and the character of Richmond is preserved.
Our Mission is to shape the future of Richmond by preserving our distinctive historic character, sparking revitalization and championing our past and future architectural legacy.
William Byrd Branch
In 2005, the William Byrd Branch of the APVA officially merged with Historic Richmond Foundation. The merger combined the statewide resources of Preservation Virginia with Historic Richmond Foundation’s local community outreach.
Preservation Virginia’s mission is to preserve, promote, and serve as an advocate for the state’s irreplaceable historic places for cultural, economic and educational benefits of everyone.
For more information about Preservation Virginia go to PreservationVirginia.org.
Check out the trailer for HRF's living history film, Preserving Richmond’s Past for its Future: The Story of Historic Richmond Foundation.
75th Anniversary History:
In the 1920s and 1930s Mary Wingfield Scott, Elisabeth Scott Bocock, Louise Catterall and Mary Reed were all pioneering the concept of preservation in Richmond. As individuals, they contributed significantly to the increased appreciation for Richmond’s built environment through research, publication, postcards and walking tours.
It was in 1935, however, when preservation as a practice took hold in the city. An important 145-year-old structure at 1812 E Grace Street, known as the Adam Craig House, was threatened by demolition. As the childhood home of Jane Craig Stanard, the subject of Edgar Allan Poe’s “To Helen,” the Adam Craig House was one of the few remaining 18th century structures in Richmond. Upon hearing the news of the potential demolition, Mary Wingfield Scott formed the Craig House Committee and purchased the structure. Shortly thereafter, the Committee became the Richmond-based William Byrd Branch of the then 43-year-old Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA). The mission of the group was to reverse the trend of demolition taking hold of historic Richmond structures. The William Byrd Branch accomplished its mission primarily through outreach and public education. They also established in Richmond the concepts of adaptive reuse, the revolving fund and architectural easements.
Formed by Elisabeth Scott Bocock and Louise Catterall in 1956, Historic Richmond Foundation was an organization that furthered the preservation work initiated in the 1930s by the William Byrd Branch. HRF worked with state senators and local government to establish the Local Old & Historic District. Today, this is an important city ordinance that creates a layer of protection against demolition and significant alteration to structures in historic districts. Analogous to the William Byrd Branch, HRF purchased significant historic structures in jeopardy of demolition.
In 2005, the William Byrd Branch of the APVA (now regarded as Preservation Virginia) officially merged with Historic Richmond Foundation. The merger combined the statewide resources of Preservation Virginia and the locally held easements and property of Historic Richmond Foundation.
Individuals or businesses who make the decision to be a part of historic districts such as Church Hill and Jackson Ward, are following the mood and mechanisms that ladies like Mary Wingfield Scott put in place three quarters of a century ago. In 2010, HRF celebrates the 75th anniversary of the establishment of preservation in the City of Richmond.