…and, they’re fishing already?
So what’s the latest on this development?
E.H. folks have been recently contacted on three seperate occasions to provide any the new drawing and plans they are working on for an amended approach to EH. They have thrice asked for an extension due to administrative and architectural delays.
We have been contacting them no less than every other week and will continue to do so – requesting a public unveiling and viewing of the modified E.H. plans. At that time, we will have a better understanding and possible negative impacts on the historic viewshed and desired (public access) park along James River from Rockets Landing all the way to Great Ship Lock Park.
So, if one is in favor of the development, they can also put signs in the park that favor their side of the argument???
I don’t even care what their modified plans are. This project should not move forward period. The absolute last thing the Shockoe Bottom/Church Hill area needs is more condos/apts.
On the other side of the coin, get some rich people living down there in high rise luxury and they might force the City leaders to take more of an interest in the ecology of this historic river (in order to protect their view)than the folks at City hall have been willing to do so far.
JES- I love it. Lets think of a clever sign and do it! Something like “I sewer treatment plants”.
I doubt it. They’ll just want to somehow fence it in and their own. Just like private beaches, they will not want the general public on their little patch of paradise.
But, will the ecology of the river already be worse off with the condo construction? I think so.
And what happens if there are no rich people living there? It isn’t like all of the units at Rocketts Landing/Vistas/Tobacco Row/etc./etc. are occupied. Then we’ve allowed a new development that doesn’t benefit our neighborhood in any way AND potentially harms our view and the river itself.
As for city council, I think many residents are very passive about the things they believe in. I’ll admit that I hate this project and yet only complain about it here. We could all do more to lobby them to take a greater interest in the James and its ecology, as well as work to get the right people elected in the first place.
It’s hard to tell from this picture of the historic view of the James, the view that named the city, but I think Echo Harbor is not in this picture. It’s about 60 degrees around to the right.
Very creative way to share your message. I like it.
We just have to trust the developers that the rich people will come, just we seem to be willing to trust the developers that this new ball park in the bottom will be a rousing sucess and not cost the taxpayers one thin dime (no more than 8 million 100 thousand at any rate).
Of course, you’re right that there are no assurances that they’ll put pressure on the city officials to clean up the James, but combined with the upscale boat slip renters down at Rockettes Landing, the odds are they will at least demand some cosmetic changes, perhaps banning fishing from the banks and putting restrictions on the type of water craft allowed to use that part of the James.
From someone who has seen the latest plans, I am told it is no longer the ugliest building in the world. Just a very ugly building now.
How odd the Friends of Libby Hill would deface the park with these signs.
There is a city ordinance against this type of sign. Sec 19-21. Look it up on Municode. Anyone has the legal right to remove these signs AND the persons installing them are subject to a $50/day/sign placed.
So what is it all those that oppose Echo? Too pretty, too ugly, too expensive, too cheap, too close to the water, too close to Libby Hill? Let’s face it, the CHA and a few others like to look down their noses and poo-poo any project. I’m trying to think of one the CHA has actually agreed to without trying to drive the developer to financial ruin.
Where was the CHA and FoLHP when Rockettes got its master plan approved inside the City line? Now those buildings WILL block the downriver view. Too late…it’s already approved for ten stories!
I guess we could call the opposition anti-jobs and anti-growth. It will provide tons of construction jobs, listings for real estate agents, marketing jobs, catering, waitstaff, repair people, access to the river for the residents that they don’t currently have, and a cleaned up area. An increased tax base is good for the city.
Perhaps the Friends of Libby Hill Park need to ask why the steps to the river have never been replaced. (I doubt any of them have ever walked to the river.) Why hasn’t the landslide from TS Gaston not been fixed? Why do the FoLHP allow the grass in the park to grow to 2′ tall?
Why should we have to mow the grass in the cobblestones?
Wouldn’t your efforts be better spent concentrating on the above and maybe taking care of Sugar Bottom or the ravaging and environmentally unsound kudzu that is taking over the hill?
Why not focus on the issue directly in front of you instead of something 1/2 mile away? Why do people go to the Grace Street overlook? It is the skyline views.
Maybe the owner of the land simply should build a boat factory or other structure there to block the view. His only crime so far has been tearing down and cleaning up the site of the cranes and other junk that was on the site when he bought it.
BTW- You gotta love the $25 membership fees to the CHA. That’s a good way to keep everyone else out of the club you don’t agree with.
#14, Please clarify, are you saying the residents of Libby Hill park, Church Hill, and surrounding visitors and residents don’t have a say in there community or their property value investment? Just give free reins to the “Developers” because they have our best interest at heart?
And the “I guess we could call the opposition anti-jobs and anti-growth” argument is becoming redundant at best.
Jobs are good, no one is arguing that. The City needs a plan, and stop bowing down to the developers because, I know, the argument, they bring tax dollars to the City.
Bob, clearly the “Hill” residents have a say, they just don’t have the only say. The Echo Harbor property is zoned industrial. The proposed special use permit would reduce the allowed height. If developed under the industrial zoning, which is a “by right” development, I believe the developer could line the river with 150′ office towers.
I’m not in favor of Echo Harbor; I think it’s ugly and I don’t like lining the river with bricks and mortar. But we can’t simply say, I’m here, I have mine, nobody else can come in. The owner has a right to do what he has a right to do. The city has the requirement to permit the zoned uses, and to consider the requested uses, considering the city as a whole. The “Hills” have a right, just not an exclusive right.
As mentioned by David, this is an industrial M-2 zoned area.
The owner has a right to develop it.
If you want the “view”, pass the hat around the Hill and take up a collection to buy his land. I’m sure $7-8 million would do the trick. Unfortunately, my fellow residents would prefer to stick the taxpayers of the City with the bill for their view.
This is technically not the CHA’s area of influence. Neither is the Shockoe Bottom area.
While we are at it, I’d like to gate off Libby Terrace and put a smart tag pass at 29th and Franklin. Anyone that wants to see the view, needs to pony up the money. I get tired of picking up the beer bottles and trash they leave behind. Those noisy tour buses? $50 a bus.
Also, all those screaming kids in the park. Muzzle them. You are disturbing my afternoon cocktail as I watch the sun set over the “built” skyline.
I don’t have a dog in this hunt because I have never found that view to be very inspiring, and there has never been any public access to the river on the north bank. Plus, you’ve got the sewage treatment plant right in your own backyard dumping God knows what in the stream.
But to claim that this development will automatically be an economic boon to the taxpayers of this city is outrageous. It’s been proven false too many times in recent years to be a credible eargument.
This place is getting just too darned entertaining. I’m glad to see a real difference of opinion being voiced and me not being to only voice of dissent.
You go LRH. You make a factual and reasonable arguement. Quite a rare commodity.
tvnb – Just how would a 100 million in construction not have a beneficial economic impact.
CHA – Just because you occupy the high ground does not mean you control all you survey.
Warning: Hammond lives downtown and really does not care about surrounding neighborhoods like Church Hill. He is constantly blogging in favor of improper development and downtown corporate welfare.
Hey Church Hill, keep fighting the good fight. Do whatever you can to keep the historic, beautiful river view. Even if you lose in the end to a corrupt Council, its worth it. I know. Just check out the picture below.
Scott, to follow your logic that PH lives downtown and shouldn’t have a voice should we also extend that lack of voice to the CHA? It isn’t in their neighborhood, but in another neighborhood.
Perhaps the taxpayers of the entire city need to check in. Taxpayers- do you want to build another unmaintained pr primitive park with your tax dollars or do you want a private company to build something that has the potential to reduce your taxes and provide river access?
tvnewsbadge- I sort of laughed at your comment. I guess Echo would preserve the view of the sewage treatment plant for Church Hill. The outflow is much further south….actually at Rocketts.
Sorry, I left out the word “stopping”
I sort of laughed at your comment. I guess “stopping” Echo would preserve the view of the sewage treatment plant for Church Hill. The outflow is much further south.â€¦actually at Rocketts.
While we are at it, let’s get rid of those train tracks. They are noisy and all they haul is polluting coal to be sold to some other country. Stop the trains, reduce our carbon footprint.
Can someone have Lehigh tear down their cement tower before the weekend? I have friends coming over and I want to show them the view of the entire sewage treatment plant. I know people will lose jobs over this, but that’s the price we pay for living in a Utopian society where there is never a bill.
How does where I live enter into this discussion and since when did you start calling me Hammond? I guess that makes me a persona non grata.
I live downtown and I care about Richmond. I’d live in Short Pump or Chesterfield if I didn’t. My opinions are my own. Take them for what they are worth. I’m not sure they are worthy of a warning.
Tell me though. Are you speaking for yourself perssonally or all the organizations you represent? Do you allow dissenting opinions there?
“tvnb – Just how would a 100 million in construction not have a beneficial economic impact.”
I’m not saying it wouldn’t. All I’m saying is that it’s outrageous to claim that the benefit is AUTOMATIC.
We’ve had far too many high dollar project go south in recent years, more often than not fleecing the taxpayers in the process.
At least folks should be honest about the potential for success and failure when they promote these grand schemes and they should be honest about WHO will actually benefit when all is said and done.
@LRH- tax me away! I use those parks every chance I get when the weather is nice. So, yes go ahead and tax me to preserve our waterfront and green space. It’s especially laughable to imply this project might lower my city taxes.
As far as “100 million in construction not have a beneficial economic impact”– look at all the other completely similar projects just blocks away. Sure, the Vistas and Riverside provided jobs in the short term while they were being built, and a few realtors benefited from selling the units. Let’s be real here- very few people benefited from those projects. (again, my taxes haven’t gone down!) And condos are not some kind of gift that keeps on giving. Once its built, the developers are going to walk away, and Richmond will be left with any possible failures that come with it.
It surprises me that you, as a Libby Hill resident, would want to wade through all the construction down the hill. Consider me a soon-to-be Libby Hill resident. While this didn’t once cross my mind in deciding to move, in retrospect it kind of sucks that I will have to be looking out on a construction site.
“LRH- tax me away!”
How much are you willing to pay personally? Would you double your taxes? I pay about $5000/year for the “privilege” of living on the park. would you pay four times that, maybe more?
“As far as â€œ100 million in construction not have a beneficial economic impactâ€â€“ look at all the other completely similar projects just blocks away. Sure, the Vistas and Riverside provided jobs in the short term while they were being built, and a few realtors benefited from selling the units. Letâ€™s be real here- very few people benefited from those projects. (again, my taxes havenâ€™t gone down!) And condos are not some kind of gift that keeps on giving. Once its built, the developers are going to walk away, and Richmond will be left with any possible failures that come with it.”
Following this logic, none of Tobacco Row, Shockoe or for that matter Church Hill should have been rehabbed as it only created a “temporary impact”.
Actually, your taxes did go down. The tax rate went down due to increased assessments and increases in revenue on newly built projects. Did the City’s revenue go down? No. It went up.
Explain to me how a privately developed and funded project will need to the “City” to bail it out?
So I guess the thousands that live in Tobacco Row and Church Hill have no economic impact? You might want to ask the businesses in the area. They beg to differ. The City begs to differ as well with their (exorbitant) meals tax.
If this turns into a park, do you think it will be any better maintained than, oh let’s say the Great Ship-lock next door? I was there last weekend. How about Forest Hill Park? (There,too as well.) Ever been in the lower sections and seen all the washouts?
How about Libby Hill Park’s maintenance? See my original post. How many years should one wait for normal repairs from Gaston? We’re going on 5 years this August? Is that a reasonable time frame?
“It surprises me that you, as a Libby Hill resident, would want to wade through all the construction down the hill. Consider me a soon-to-be Libby Hill resident. While this didnâ€™t once cross my mind in deciding to move, in retrospect it kind of sucks that I will have to be looking out on a construction site.”
You can’t “wade” through the site now and why would I object? It’s a fenced off industrial site almost 1/2 mile away. It’s not on my path of travel to work. If it turned into a park, you’d still be “wading” during renovations. Besides, the trees and the railroad tracks will block out all but the tallest portions.
Houses in this area are under constant repair and rework. If construction sites bother you, this might not be the area for you.
Welcome to the ‘hood. It’s a great neighborhood for open minds. However you need to understand that if a City is not growing and rejuvenating it is dying. Let’s not let emotions get in the way of facts. Most of the opponents have used distorted facts to hide their emotional feelings about the view.
I’ve often wondered if I should ask my next door neighbor to tear down their house as it blocks part of my view of the river. Would this be appropriate?
â€œFacts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.â€
I had a whole response written to shockoe that went to digital heaven. It was much shorter and pithier than LHR’s, but her’s had a funny quote.
Thanks for the chuckle.
LRH- You have completely twisted what I said. I believe in urban revitalization and growing as a city. I support projects that I believe will better our neighborhood and the city, like the stadium, which is the furthest thing from being anti-growth. Tobacco Row and rehabs in Shockoe and Church Hill have been crucial to bringing people back down town- a lot greater than a temporary impact. Those projects were a major development to rebuild this area, EH is not. Is there really a need for a new condo high rise in a city where condos do not sell well? I never said anything about Tobacco Row because it is mostly, rental apartments, not units for sale unlike Vistas, Riverside, and potentially EH. Tobacco Row is completely different in that regard from the proposed EH.
I donâ€™t think itâ€™s necessary to get into an â€œooo I pay so much in taxesâ€ debate. You do have the privilege of living on the park, as well as the privilege of living on one of the nicest streets in Richmond. Many Richmonders leap to the â€œmore taxesâ€ conclusion whenever a new proposal comes along. Taxes are necessary and sometimes beneficial. Generally speaking, I would be more than happy to pay more taxes if it bettered my neighborhood.
I think houses under renovation are fantastic and great for the neighborhood. I like the view, but Iâ€™m not emotionally attached. (although your hatred for what seems to be most of the James River Park system would suggest some emotions of your end) I assure you, for me, this has nothing to do with a view. I also prefer the city skyline, but the housing market in Richmond is not a good one for condos. And it would just be super to have a towering condo building sit vacant at the bottom of the hill. How is that going to affect property assessments?
I appreciate open minded conversations on issues like this, and think there is no better way to get the facts out there than in an open discussion. I hope that someone can provide some solid numbers on the benefits of this project. I will be the first person to admit I was wrong if this is truly some phenomenal development for Richmond.
Canâ€™t wait to meet ya neighbor!!
It truly saddens me that a few of you find the view so unimportant. I support many of the new developments, but not this one. Once ruined, we would never get the view back and right now it is so stunningly similar to Richmond England. Do you remember the “twinning” ceremony a few years ago? Representatives of the queen actually came up to Libby to celebrate with us.
What is a viewshed? From LHP, the view toward Echo Harbor is South. The view down the “Thames” is Southeast, and EH would not be in your l;ine of sight. It is just as logical to tell the city to move the sewage treatment plant, because it is in sight of LHP. Move the 14th Street Bridge, because it blocks the view to the Southwest.
Remember that the owners have a right to use their property, if not a right to a rezoning or special use permit. Suppose they give up on the EH concept and decide to build what they can build by right. Look at the city’s zoning ordinance for M2. Enjoy the (taller) offices buildings, with no community imput into their design or placement.
This is not a plea for EH harbor. It is a request that opponents apply facts, as much as possible, in an inherently subjective process.
Actually I have no hatred for the park system at all. I have a problem with the maintenance or lack thereof. I use JRP 2-4 times a week in the summer and 1-2 times a week in the winter. I see the broken pieces, the washed out roads, the debris, graffiti etc. Parks aren’t a priority nor is enough money ever set aside to properly maintain them. And yes, I volunteer time to work in them and paint over graffiti.
Tobacco Row is set up as apartments because that’s how the federal historic tax laws are written. They can’t be sold as condos until the tax credits expire. Once the credits expire, you can expect some of them to be turned into condos.
However, to say “rentals” at T Row are better than condos that would probably be owner-occupied is a stretch. I think they both have a place in the market. If EH wanted to build apartments there, would that make it more palatable?
The developers of EH are totally at risk. It is their business decision to build or not to build. I’m not so sure they require the lay person’s guidance as to their financial model. To say that “condos aren’t selling that well” is really their business decision isn’t it? In spite of the recession, restaurants seem to be doing well. Go figure.
I’ve been in the Vistas and Riverside on the James. Neither really reaches the market EH would. Nolde’s? Not even close. The 25th Street condos south of Franklin? Jammed in, too small and on a noisy uphill bus line.
As far the the Richmond on the Thames….that was a staged event and just like the “gone with the wind staircase” at the Jefferson….folklore.
I would suggest that one might want to visit the great European cities or even Vancouver or Montreal to see how a developed riverfront becomes a vital, energetic part of the city. Google Earth them if you can’t go there.
Richmond always reduces itself to the lowest common denominator. In the end, people go elsewhere. The ones that stay behind, complain and wonder why we are a second/third tier city.
That response saddens me even more. You really do not care.
I do not complain about Richmond. I love it here and I am raising my noisy children here, too. We appreciate the history and the view and do not think it is a second rate place to live at all.
It seems to me that you are the one complaining.
“In spite of the recession, restaurants seem to be doing well.”
I know! People can never give up good food and drink. I would love another restaurant here, maybe you can talk to the EH people about doing that instead. Love it!
More people = More customers = More restaurants.
edg. Look at the body of LHR comment. Other great cities make the most of their waterfronts as attractive places to live and do business. I don’t know anyone who wants to rip out the JRPS and replace it with condos. Most of us would like to see it better supported and maintained. You can’t that by doubling it’s size, but not it’s budget and that’s not going to happen with current city budget or in the near future, not without a broader tax base and more residents.
I think you misunderstand me. I love Richmond. Born here, raised here, came back after school. I’ve lived on the Hill since 1986 when it was the combat zone. I didn’t need cable TV. I could watch “shoot ’em ups” right out in front of my house. 23 years ago you would not have let your kid walk North of Broad.
I’ve paid my dues on the Hill with blood, sweat and tears. I could afford to live anywhere. I chose the Hill.
I also visit about 15 different major cities and 2-3 countries a year. I get to see what works and what doesn’t work.
Richmond, is by definition, a second tier city. And that is in spite of the Fortune 500 companies we have. We are a bit tainted by our geography. Too close to DC. Too far from Atlanta. (We don’t even get a crawler for the temperature on the Weather Channel. Raleigh and Norfolk do. Why is that?)
Richmond hits a lot of singles. It is not known for the “one great thing” like a lot of other cities. It’s the one place I always come back to.
However, in my opinion, and you are free to disagree, we hold ourselves back from being a GREAT city by fighting the wrong fights.
We’ve gotten off track, but one of my original questions dealt with the CHA. What projects has the CHA supported in the geographic area that could make this area a GREAT area? Very few.
CHA is by defin ition a parochial organization. That’s not a criticism; they were established to represent the interests of Church Hill. By definition, it will be difficult for them to step onto a grander stage and move the CITY forward. It’s just a shame that sometimes the parochial view overshadows the greater goal. It’s the neighborhood equivalent of “What’s good for General Motors is good for America.”
Ask any real estate agent or anyone with a brain and they will tell you what is holding back Richmond is schools, specifically a perception reinforced by school buildings that are old, shabby, and ILLEGAL, doubly reinforced by City ‘leaders’ who allow a baseball stadium proposal distract them from taking care of citizen’s needs.
Corporations don’t care about school buildings, parks or views- look how Lamar Advertising still has its ILLEGAL billboard on the 95 bridge while it negotiates secretly behind the scenes with a corrupt City government. Huh, talk about what is holding the City back…
And you have the gall to attack a civic organization that is trying to empower your neighbors- you know how many civic organizations this City used to have compared to now? You know how much Richmond used to be alive compared to now?
Your souless condo projects and hollow stadium proposals are part of the problem as long as they go against and distract from what the older neighborhoods need and want (new and refurbished schools!).
#35 “Weâ€™ve gotten off track, but one of my original questions dealt with the CHA. What projects has the CHA supported in the geographic area that could make this area a GREAT area? Very few.”
CHA supported ALL of the (responsible) residential renovation in the St. John’s area as well as north of Broad, Union Hill, and surrounding areas. They supported saving the Superior Bldg., building the market & CVS, the various bars and restaurants that everyone seems to love, Nolde condos, Belfry Condos, Bellevue School condos (at 22nd & Broad, not where the school that’s open is now on Grace), Pohlig Bldg….
and believe it or not, Libby Hill Res., I’m not currently a member, for whatever reason, boredom maybe. I’ve put in my time with it in years past. I’ve been up here a few more years than you have (eight, to be exact). CHA is made up of residents, and sometimes personalities get in the way of our seeing the organization as simply a civic association. Over the years, it’s done a few good things, and championed good restoration/renovation, and intelligent infill.
Please don’t tell me that the marketplace let all this renovation happen up here, either – it took a civic association to pull everyone together and make it feel like a neighborhood and not a souless suburb, giving others the desire to join in the neighborhood. I’m not saying CHA did it all, just that it added to the neighborhood.
And that’s the point. CHA has done good things for the neighborhood. By it’s nature, it has not done great things for the city. That’s not a condemnation, it’s just the nature of a neighborhood association.
“Following this logic, none of Tobacco Row, Shockoe or for that matter Church Hill should have been rehabbed as it only created a â€œtemporary impactâ€.”
I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but the projects you talk about did not destroy the existing landscape. They put old buildings to new use, preserving the esstential character of what they replaced.
“Actually, your taxes did go down. The tax rate went down due to increased assessments and increases in revenue on newly built projects”.
Actuially, that’s not true. Then Mayor Wilder wanted to drive the real estate tax rate through the roof. It was certain members of City Council that held the line and protected the hard pressed residents of this city by demanding a lower tax rate…
Thanks, crd, for the best overview of what CHA is all about. The association is more of a civic booster than most people imagine. Back in the early 80’s it was a major supporter of Historic Richmond Foundation’s move to purchase properties north of Broad St.- to save them and promote renovation. CHA has supported the Planter’s Society to beautify the neighborhood through planting street trees.
There is no better example of what CHA does than the annual Christmas Homes Tour, which acts as an introduction to the neighborhood for many in the City of Richmond. The profits from that tour, and the other fundraising efforts throughout the year (including our dues) are recycled into the community for special projects and organizations that help citizens. By law, any nonprofit organization must invest their funds in the community through various grants and programs.
Just like any entity that is in the public eye, the CHA has garnered bad press because of certain positions it has taken on recent issues. Just like going to a restaurant and having a bad experience, human nature will take the path where a bad experience will be related to a number of people, but a good experience will be talked about very rarely. No civic organization is perfect. The leadership of the CHA has, in the past, been less than dynamic, but that should not negate the greater good that the organization has done, overall, in the last several years.
There are many residents that have contributed time and effort to promote the activities of the organization, and have gone unnoticed, unappreciated, and largely ignored. It is, however, the feeling of accomplishment, in the long slow process of making this neighborhood better, that has proved their reward. It is always the citizens in a “civic organization” that make the difference, not always the leadership. I guess it is the foot soldiers that fight the wars and not the generals!
I’ve lived on the Hill since 1982 ( and before that from 1967 to 1972) so I know many of these people, and what has been accomplished. The CHA is a great organization and has done a good job of defending, supporting, and nurturing this neighborhood. I feel that many of the CHA-bashers do not attend meetings, nor have any stake in the organized development of a support group for the neighborhood. Just think about who, or what, would fill the void if there was no CHA. Pretty scary for me.
Off the topic here.
#37 Scott, Iâ€™m all for new and refurbished schools but the schools Iâ€™m eyeing for my kids have more to do with what is going on behind closed doors than the actual building itself. Ask parents applying to specific schools through open enrollment why they are choosing to leave their zoned schools.
I’m just stopping by to say that I love the James River Park System, despite its faults, and that I think it’s a bit of an easy target and that it’s completely unfair to hold them responsible for the shortcomings of the public land they oversee with a meager budget and volunteer staff. As much as the city schools may detract from the value of the city, JRPS does nothing but add value. I hate to think of what this city would be like without JRPS. It would not be Richmond at all.
Also, I have to laugh at the idea of comparing Richmond to Montreal or Vancouver or any European city. As nice at the old port of Montreal is, that city is a complete shithole in so many other areas. That’s the price you pay for being a large city with a tourism industry I guess (especially when you live on an island). Great homeless population though, very friendly. And as far as any European city, well obviously the main difference would be efficient and convenient public transportation choices.
We all need to be educated on Black History. Across the historic viewshed from Libby Park is Ancarrow’s landing where the slave ships embarked. Following the slave trail across the Mayo bridge they were led into Shockoe Bottom to be jailed, clothed and auctioned. Richmond’s largest crop were slaves (not tobacco) in the 19th century. Richmond also had the largest population of free blacks. The story needs to be told. The Slavery Museum needs to be in Shockoe. History buffs arond the world will flock to this city. That the wealth for our city – tourists. It is also our pride.
Let’s think of the big picture. The view from Libby Hill has an important story to tell – don’t hide it. Call Ophrah to come and see this rich history of our country. Let her spread the word. Let’s see how fast the riverfront highrise developers scatter as the citizens become informed of the wealth of this area.
Can anyone help develop a plan to educate our citizery of this great asset? We need a Speakers Bureau.
Please add to this brief history – I want to learn.
You speak of the view, and you speak of Ancarrow’s. I ask that each of you go visit Ancarrow’s. The Ancarrow’s park is a disgrace, being used as a dump. The City stores gravel and mulch there. The grass doesn’t get cut. I am not for a high rise in front of Libby Hill Park; however, I am not for the City owning it and making it a public park as their track record demonstrates they don’t maintain the property that’s entrusted to them already. The City owns almost all of the land on the south side of the river and does little in the form of maintenance and preservation. The City park system is not leading by example. Anything that the private developers do has to be better than what is over there now. I encourage each one of you to visit Ancarrow’s park and if you find it a disgrace like I do, let your council person know.
Tom – I speak of Ancarrow’s Landing as part of a larger picture in the development in a living heritage museum. Whether it be private funding or city, state or national, the monies to take care of it will be funded by the cultural tourist dollars. I was surprised to learn that 81% of all tourists are cultural ones and they stay in an area twice as long.that translates into s lot of bucks. It is also growing twice as fast as overall travel. We need to get on the band wagon and develop the resources we have.I don’t know if you took part in the Downtown Master Plan process but we need to get back Dover Kohl and do a plan for
by the way- I don’t find Ancarrow’s a disgrace. It is a place where many fing it a perfect spot to cast their lines out. Just look out today at the shad fishermen.
When you speak of the blight south of the river – do you remember what the Slip looked like before –and the oponents cried out, “No One Will Come”!
I wanted to share the idea of Stewardship, which I think really is at the heart of this debate. Most of us recognize that we are privileged to live in an historic area of the city, that our stay here is temporary, and that the legacy of this area is worth preserving. We are not opposed to development, but would wish that those who wish to build would do so in a manner that is sensible and sensitive, and does not detract from the rest of the neighborhood. It is possible for Echo Harbor to build a more sensible project that is lower rise, is in keeping with the neighborhood, and that does not destroy the viewshed. They have chosen not to do so so that they could maximize profits. That decision flies in the face of my notion of “stewardship” and detracts from the value of the neighborhood as a whole for personal gain.
#44 – I agree!
Ancarrows is actually controlled by DPU. But the greater point about park maintenance is a valid one. There are three maintenance people assigned to the entire James River Park system, and the proposed budget is reducing park funding for maintenance even more. The CIP talks about acquiring additional riverfron property, but then reduces GF money to maintain what we already have.
Excellent point geoffrey and an excellent philosophy to carry in life. Stewardship.
I was just discussing responsible development with a friend as we were driving all around the city and Church Hill this morning. I’ve said that I intend for the new and restored homes I leave behind me to last well into the next 100 years. I think about the impact, the history and what I leave behind.
Richmond’s slave trade is a story that cannot be passed over. What I’ve read about Lumpkin’s Jaii makes me want to learn more. I want trace Mary Lumpkin’s life and journey to Louisiana. There is a certain atmosphere that will be created building on or as close to the original site as possible. A feeling of the time, the overwhelming sadness of it all and the hope it inspired as it became “God’s Half Acre” in the end.
In 1982 I was a new resident of Northern VA. I pulled into a strip mall along Route 7 ran into a deli on route 7 in for a cold drink. It was August and just plain too hot for a Northern girl. I ran inside, grabbed a quick drink and then as I unlocked my car door I saw a marker.
In November 1861 Lincoln reviewed the troops there. ‘Occupying nearly 200 acres, some 50,000 troops, “including seven divisionsâ€”seven regiments of cavalry, ninety regiments of infantry, [and] twenty batteries of artillery,” took part in the review, at that time the largest ever held in America.
I paused, and in my mind, the heat faded to a crisp fall day, the concrete became grass, the roads and buildings faded to rolling hills dotted with thousands of tents, men lined up in rows, battle weary, with Lincoln’s voice drifting on the air. I was lost to the moment.
Ever since that day I’ve always wondered about what went on beneath my feet.
â€œI like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.â€ –Abraham Lincoln
That applies to women too 😉
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