Dec 27

A Year in Review

2018 A Year In Review!
How can we begin to thank you – our friends, family, volunteers and supporters?
You have generously given so much – your generosity, your enthusiasm, your time and your support – we are profoundly grateful for all of it! And above all – we thank you for caring as we do about Richmond’s historic buildings and neighborhoods.
This year, your support has helped us to make significant progress on many important initiatives, including:

Preservation: 

  • In 2018, we made great strides in preserving and protecting the most important historic buildings and places that make Richmond unique, beautiful and authentic, with a particular focus on Monumental Church and Masons’ Hall.
    • At Monumental Church, we not only completed a roof investigation and significant repairs, but also restored the faux graining of the interior sanctuary doors and completed restoration work on the east stairwell. This work was made possible by the generosity of The Beirne Carter Foundation, Sara Belle and the late Neil November, and another significant foundation, respectively.
    • At Masons’ Hall, we worked with the Masons of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19 and Masons’ Hall 1785 to support ongoing restoration work. The first phase of priority restoration work has been completed and we are working with the Masons on the next project on the list. This work would not have been possible without the generous support of the Matthew & Genevieve Mezzanotte Foundation.

For more information on this exciting work, please see our 2018 Spring Newsletter and fall Annual Report and stay tuned for additional updates in the New Year.

Neighborhood Revitalization:

We are excited to be partnering with the City of Richmond and project:HOMES to revitalize a historic gateway corridor, while providing affordable housing to below median income homeowners and preserving the rich architectural and cultural fabric of an historic neighborhood. We are grateful to our partners at project:HOMES and the City of Richmond, particularly Mayor Stoney, his team in Economic Development/Housing & Community Development, and Councilwoman Ellen Robertson, for their assistance in developing this partnership among nonprofits. We are also grateful for the support of the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Foundation to make these projects possible. We look forward to sharing more with you on these initiatives very soon!

These projects are just one example of our efforts, together with our fellow nonprofits and other community members, to think creatively about pressing community concerns, such as blight and affordability. We are excited to have rolled up our sleeves to help plan with the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust/Land Bank and Richmond 300 to address these concerns.

Advocacy:

  • We have spent a great deal of time this year advocating for Richmond’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and places both humble and heroic:
  • We are pleased to see that our advocacy for the two historic Westhampton School buildings (one of Richmond’s first schools to integrate) resulted in Bon Secours’ commitment to save the 1917 school building.
  • Our early advocacy for the Intermediate Terminal resulted in a closer look and architectural study.
  • Our advocacy for historic Capitol Square continues with the preservation of the General Assembly Building’s historic 1912 façade for incorporation into a handsome new GAB currently under construction and with the restoration work on Old City Hall and Morson’s Row currently in the planning phase.
  •  As NH District Corp and the City of Richmond work towards a plan for revitalizing Navy Hill, we are actively advocating for the Blues Armory, the John Marshall House, the Richmond Garage, and other nearby historic resources, and to “bring the neighborhood back to the neighborhood” through a range of inclusive housing alternatives.
  • We are actively supporting Virginia Union University’s efforts to rehabilitate the 1899 Industrial Hall (one of the original “nine noble” buildings of VUU’s campus) as a center for arts and creativity, participating and promoting two panel discussions on VUU, its history, and the Industrial Hall.
  • We have not won all our fights – not by a long shot. We cried with our Oregon Hill friends when half a block of 19th century structures was demolished on the 800 block of W. Cary Street. This loss has motivated our efforts in support of neighborhood driven overlay districts and our fight to protect the historic structures of Monroe Ward (particularly Franklin Street) to ensure that unsympathetic zoning does not encourage demolitions of the rare historic fabric in Monroe Ward.

There are many other structures on our radar screen and for which we are fighting – too many to list here, but all important and authentic elements of Richmond’s built environment.

Education:

  • Historic Richmond Rehab Expo
    • Our popular day-long free expo featuring historic preservation related exhibitors and vendors was back and better than ever. We love serving as an active and helpful resource for all facets of saving Richmond’s irreplaceable structures and places.
  • Golden Hammer Awards
    • As a co-host for the 2018 Golden Hammer Awards, we continued our partnership with Storefront for Community Design to recognize professionals working in neighborhood revitalization, blight reduction and historic preservation in the Richmond region.
    • We love celebrating Richmond’s innovation and creativity and the work of so many to adaptively reuse Richmond’s industrial past, while approaching design dilemmas with creativity and style!
  • Lecture Series: In 2018, our Lecture Series featured:
    • The History, Development, and Revitalization of Northside Streetcar Suburbs– a panel discussion with Marion Cake, Kim Chen, Ryan Rinn, and Clark Glavé discussing the history as one of the first “rent-to-buy” developments and some of the first electric streetcar suburbs in the country, as well as the impact of zoning and redlining over the years, the distinctive architecture, and current revitalization efforts; and
    • On the Road – Gas, Food and Lodging – Virginia’s Auto Age Architecture and its Preservation with Marc Wagner exploring the mid-century period of roadside architecture in Virginia, from diners and gas stations, to burger joints, all built to serve an automobile-centric culture.
  •  Quoit Club
    • Junior Board’s 2018 Quoit Club Season showcased some of the most interesting buildings and locations in the city. Thank you Junior Board!
  • Council of Historic Richmond Historic Garden Week Tour of Seminary Avenue
    • Council’s tour highlighted Seminary Avenue in the Ginter Park Historic District, a community planned by Major Lewis Ginter in the 1890s with formal, tree-lined streets and a surprising variation of architectural styles. Thank you Council!
    • We are energized to see the catalytic impact of our combined efforts on a building, a streetscape, and a neighborhood. We are excited about working hand in hand with so many in the community to think creatively about solving the most pressing community issues. In 2019, you will see us proactively advocating for historic preservation as a meaningful priority in the City’s master planning process, economic incentives, and creative solutions for historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization.