2020 Golden Hammer Winners
Historic Richmond and the Storefront for Community Design are pleased to announce that ten outstanding projects in the Richmond community have won 2020 Golden Hammer Awards. The ten winners were chosen from among 29 projects nominated in the categories of Best Adaptive Reuse, Best New Construction, Best Placemaking, Best Residential, and Best Restoration. The Golden Hammer Awards recognize professionals working in neighborhood revitalization, blight reduction, and historic preservation in the Richmond region.
Cyane Crump, Executive Director of Historic Richmond, said “Our nominees are working across Richmond in many of our important historic districts, and are even working to create new high quality neighborhoods. Through their work, our city is being transformed and envisioned as a more connected, open, and aspirational place. We are grateful to all of the nominated project teams for their commitment to Richmond, its quality of life, its people, and its unique, authentic and beautiful places!”
“While we are saddened we could not come together this year in person to celebrate these nominations, we encourage all of those interested in Richmond’s distinctive historic built environment, neighborhood revitalization, and place-making to take a self-guided tour across the city to see for themselves the positive impact being made by all our nominees, and the unique sense of place being created or enhanced by our award winners,” said Bernard Harkless, Board Chair and Interim Executive Director of Storefront for Community Design.
Our award winning adaptive reuse, new construction and restoration projects created transformational spaces for our community, and built flexible workspaces and exceptional maker spaces for the future (McKinnon and Harris, and VCU’s The Scott House). They include innovative approaches to mixed use, restaurant and community spaces intended to provide the experiences we crave and the neighborhood services we need (Island Shrimp Co., and Midas of Richmond). And they include residential housing projects focusing on every portion of the housing spectrum – from million dollar townhouse developments to affordable rental housing to emergency housing for women struggling with addiction (The Barton Mansion, Kensington Park, 2314 Burton Street, and The CARITAS Center).
This year, one project stood out for its creative approach to financing, for its innovative high quality adaptive reuse of a historic tobacco factory, and for its efforts and aspirations to provide services along a continuum of care from emergency shelter to 47-apartment recovery residence community, to job-readiness and life skills program space, to furniture bank and administrative offices. For these reasons, we are awarding a special Golden Hammer Award for Community and Social Impact to The CARITAS Center.
This year’s placemaking winners are in many ways a product of their time and the prevailing social concerns of 2020, reflecting the diverse approaches of two groups – a leading cultural institution with significant financial resources and a grassroots group of anonymous historians and preservationists – to contextualizing the Confederate iconography of Monument Avenue and telling a more complete and inclusive American story in our community’s public spaces. The response of the first was to create a new monumental statue both referencing and counterbalancing those on Monument Avenue while exploring issues of race, gender and power (VMFA’s Rumors of War). The response of the second (History is Illuminating) was to create educational signage “illuminating” unspoken history about the Confederate monuments and Richmond’s Black community at the time the monuments were erected.