2021 Year In Review

This has been another extraordinary year, filled with both challenge and success. We are grateful to you – each of you – for helping us to meet those challenges and achieve that success. Most importantly, we were happy to reconnect with you as we resumed in person educational programming this spring with Quoit Club and other outdoor events, and through plenty of virtual lectures and meetings.

How can we begin to thank you – our friends, family, volunteers and supporters? You have generously given so much – your energy, 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:


Mason's Hall

Mason’s Hall

Work on Masons’ Hall, in cooperation with the Masons of Richmond Randolph Lodge No. 19, was not only completed, but won a Golden Hammer Award! This work was made possible by the generous support of the Matthew & Genevieve Mezzanotte Foundation.

We continue to partner with the Friends of the Pump House and the City of Richmond’s Department of Parks and Recreation to develop preservation solutions for the Byrd Park Pump House.

We continue to plan for Monumental Church‘s exterior ADA-compliant ramp construction project, improving accessibility, and the exterior coatings project, protecting and preserving the exterior from biological growth, salts, rising damp, and discoloration. With a building of Monumental Church’s architectural importance, these projects are expensive and complicated. Our goal is to raise over $600,000 to support this restoration project. We are delighted and grateful to have been approved for a matching grant from Mary Morton Parson Foundation! Please consider helping us help Monumental Church, today.


The last of the first three houses rehabilitated as part of our Gateway Corridor Revitalization Project is finished! This project—a partnership with Project:HOMES, the City of Richmond, and the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust— provided permanently affordable housing while preserving the rich architectural and cultural fabric of the historic Barton Heights neighborhood. The generosity of our volunteers, community partners, donors and patrons make it possible to continue this important work.


We have spent a great deal of time this year advocating for Richmond’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and places both humble and heroic. From the City’s Richmond 300 Master Plan proposed amendments, multiple small area planning efforts and rezonings including the Shockoe Small Area plan, to the historic Second Baptist Church, to the historic gasometer at Fulton Gas Works, to Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground, to too many other significant places to list here, we have worked to preserve, protect and promote the important and authentic elements of Richmond’s built environment.


Through our educational programs, we engaged with the community and served as an informed approachable, and active community partner concerning Richmond’s historic built environment. Our many programs are highlighted in the enclosed photos and include:

  • Our Brown Bag Lunch: A Virtual Walk Around Shockoe covered the history and issues facing Shockoe today, underscoring the importance of protecting Shockoe’s historic architectural and archaeological resources and the creation of a Heritage Campus.
  • Golden Hammer Awards

    Historic Richmond and Storefront for Community Design celebrated the 2021 Golden Hammer Awards at Hardywood Richmond. The Golden Hammer Awards recognize professionals and citizens enhancing neighborhood revitalization, reducing blight, and championing historic preservation in the Richmond region. Twelve winners were chosen from among 40 projects nominated. Click here to view our Golden Hammer Awards program, for more details on each of the wonderful nominated projects.

  • Our Preservation and Sustainability panel discussion with Quinn Evans Architects and the University of Richmond, highlighted the importance of sustainability and preservation, the research quantifying the environmental costs of demolition, and the environmental benefits of preservation and adaptive reuse.
  • Ingredients for Success: People, Places & Preservation with Executive Director Cyane Crump, looked at several of Richmond’s most important historic preservation projects from landmark civic structures to its most humble neighborhoods.
  • The History and Documentation of Slave Housing in Virginia panel discussion with Elvatrice Belsches, Jobie Hill and Douglas Sanford explored the various types of slave housing, stories of the past enslaved occupants and current plans for interpretation, efforts to identify and record the houses that still exist, what we can tell from buildings still standing verse archaeological sites, and the challenges in this work.
  • The Historic Richmond Quoit Club gathered for in-person tours of:

    2021 Quoit Club Tours

    • Church Hill, to explore the neighborhood’s history, historic built environment and the neighborhood revitalization work of Historic Richmond over many decades. You can see our mobile-friendly digital guide here.  A week later, on a beautiful April day, the Council of Historic Richmond toured 5 homes and gardens in Church Hill, for its Historic Garden Week tour.
    • Shockoe, with Ana Edwards of the Sacred Ground Reclamation Project, to develop a better understanding of the history of Shockoe as a commercial and industrial center and the vision for a Heritage Campus featuring a memorial park. You can see our mobile-friendly digital guide here.
    • Jackson Ward Cemeteries, to hear about the proposed Shockoe Hill Burying Ground Historic District, featuring Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Hebrew Cemetery, and the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground. Guides include Ryan Smith, PhD, professor of history at VCU; William Obrochta, Director of Beth Ahabah’s Museum and Archives; Ellen Chapman, PhD, Archaeologist; and a special “appearance” by Lenora McQueen, whose advocacy and hard work is behind the recent and long overdue recognition of the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground. For this, we created an online guide for participants.
    • The Virginia War Memorial, featuring SMBW, the architects of the Shrine of Memory for the Global War on Terror, and a tour of the entire memorial with veteran tour guides.
    • 1708 Monteiro Street, the third house rehabilitated as part of our Gateway Corridor Revitalization Project.
    • Belle Isle, with Bryce Wilk of the James River Park System leading us through the paths of Belle Isle. We created a supplemental online guide for the walking tour so that visitors may juxtapose today’s Belle Isle with information and visuals of the past.
    • Hollywood Cemetery, our final tour of the year, bringing Richmonders and recent transplants together on a beautiful October evening to appreciate this landmark green space and its history.

Historic Richmond is deeply grateful for the partners and panelists who contributed their experienced insight and skills, and shared their knowledge with all. A special thank you to our generous sponsors of our programs Dominion Energy and TCV Trust & Wealth Management.

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.

We are grateful to our many partners, friends and supporters and – most of all – to YOU! Your generosity and financial support are vital to sustain Historic Richmond and move us forward. I hope you will take this opportunity to re-invest in our important work by making a gift today.
We need your help.


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