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One of last original houses in Woodville facing demolition

Cameron says that it looks like 2119 Selden Street will soon be demolished. This is one of the few remaining original houses in the area now dominated by Fairfield Court.

Saturday, I ran into a man who got out a car and walked to a vacant house on the block. I asked him what he was doing as he paced the sidewalk. He said he was contacted by the owner to give an estimate for demolition.

So I asked who owned it and he gave me a name and number. I explained my interest in the house, but unfortunately I couldn’t buy it. I wish I could.

This is the last original row of houses left in Woodville and we didn’t need another field or ugly suburban infill. I thanked the man for the information and number.

Today I called the number and spoke to the new owner. The house had been sold at auction a few months ago. I told him I would rather not see it demolished to which he agreed. He said he would rather fix it up like his other properties, but the city told him to demolish it by April 4 and he had a general contractor who said it would be best to demolish.

He also stated he thought the house was sturdy enough for renovation and said he had a budget of $30-40,000 or even $45,000 to fix it up. I asked if he were to demolish it, would it be replaced. He said they could probably put a modular house there. And he mentioned something about cost for the lot size… I got lost there.

But I told him a couple other people wanted to get it to renovate (although now I thought about it, one of them said he’d tear it down and build a replica, which I doubt). He said he was welcome to hear from anyone because he’d rather not demolish.

Now here’s what I don’t get. What’s the rush to demolish? If he’s bought and renovated other houses before, what’s different here?

If his budget is 30-45,000, would that be enough to renovate? What about loans or grants? Am I missing something?

But I’d hate to see another hole in the block. I’m not sure what to make out of what he told me. He’s rushed to demolish, doesn’t want to demolish, has money (but not enough?), has the experience (but can’t do it?), is he looking to get rid of the property before anything happens? I need help here.


Woodville (via
Woodville (via)


Richmond Planet (1906)
Richmond Planet (1906)


2119 Selden Street RVA 01


2119 Selden Street RVA 02


2119 Selden Street RVA 03


Cadeho 05/14/2014 at 1:47 PM

The city has marked the utility lines in front of the house which is a sign demolition is soon. The owner told me he had signed for its demolition about a month ago after I called to see if he had contacted any of the people who I knew were great at restoring historic houses. I was greatly disappointed he had not called either of them and went ahead with punching another hole in the fabric of my neighborhood’s and the city’s history. To get the city off his back all he needed to do was do a little bit of work if he did not have enough money at the start… at least let them know you are doing something constructive. No one seems to really respect Richmond’s working class houses or neighborhoods.

Apparently someone has started ripping more siding off the house. This revealed on the front, former windows that used to be the length of the door. From what I heard about the house back in the 1950s it had beautiful French doors. I know all of that could have been restored with some effort. What a black eye. Where do we go from here?


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