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Dedication of the WRVA building (1968)

Just over a year after a ceremonial groundbreaking on June 22, 1967, Philip Johnson’s now-iconic WRVA building was dedicated on May 29, 1968.

The ceremony at the station grounds brought out the famous architect Johnson, James Biddie (President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation), Governor Mills Godwin, and local luminaries such as Bruce English (President of the Historic Richmond Foundation), Mayor Morrill Crowe and voice-of-WRVA Alden Aaroe.

Following the ceremony at the station grounds, architect Philip Johnson, Bruce English (President of the Historic Richmond Foundation), and James Biddie (President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation) sat for a discussion at the Elmira Shelton House on working in historic neighborhods and on the topic historic preservation at that time.

The prescient conversation touches on the ill effects of mass urban renewal, the importance of the neighborhood north of Broad, and the disastrous impact on urban planning of the time of designing for cars. A passage from Johnson where he describes his hope for “this younger generation” to “make your own new county” not enthrall with the highway system in particular stands in stark relief some 46 years later.

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Groundbreaking for WRVA building (June 22, 1967)
Groundbreaking for WRVA building (June 22, 1967)

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Groundbreaking for WRVA building (June 22, 1967)
Groundbreaking for WRVA building (June 22, 1967)

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Bruce English (left), Morrill Crowe (right) / dated May 9, 1967 (?)
Bruce English (left), Morrill Crowe (right) / dated May 9, 1967 (?) – from groundbreaking?

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Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Scan 3

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Scan 2

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Scan 4

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Mills Godwin (left), Alden Aaroe (speaking) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Governor Mills Godwin (left), Alden Aaroe (speaking) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Scan 8

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Scan 9

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Scan 11

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Bruce English (2nd from left)
Bruce English (2nd from left)

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Scan 13

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Scan 14

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Philip Johnson (right, standing) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Philip Johnson (right, standing) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Philip Johnson (2nd from right)  / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Philip Johnson (2nd from right) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Morrill Crowe (Richmond Mayor 1964-1968)(3rd from  right), Virginia English (right)  / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Morrill Crowe (Richmond Mayor 1964-1968)(3rd from right), Virginia English (right) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Philip Johnson (left)  / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Philip Johnson (left) / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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James Biddle, Virginia English, Philip Johnson, unknown  / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
James Biddle, Virginia English, Philip Johnson, unknown / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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James Biddle  / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
James Biddle / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Bruce English, James Biddle, Philip Johnson / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Bruce English, James Biddle, Philip Johnson / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Bruce English, Philip Johnson,  James Biddle / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Bruce English, Philip Johnson, James Biddle / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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Bruce English, Philip Johnson,  James Biddle / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)
Bruce English, Philip Johnson, James Biddle / Dedication of the WRVA building (May 29, 1968)

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This is the second release from the collection of photos and documents that was crowdfunded and purchased from Cold Harbor Antiques.

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Frank Pichel
Frank Pichel
5 years ago

awesome

Jenny Larus
Jenny Larus
5 years ago

These are great – my Dad has lots of memories of this – still has the crystal radio set they gave out as favors that day. (WRVA was still owned by Larus & Bro Tobacco at the time). Thanks for sharing!

Church Hill People's News
Church Hill People's News
5 years ago

That’s neat! I got 2 of the crystal sets with these photos! I meant to take a pic and include it but forgot.

Jenny Larus
Jenny Larus
5 years ago

Jenny Larus liked this on Facebook.

Kathy Albers
Kathy Albers
5 years ago

Kathy Albers liked this on Facebook.

The U.....nion Hill
The U.....nion Hill
5 years ago

Only an architect would think that building actually looks good.

Elaine Odell
Elaine Odell
5 years ago

@chpn. is there a photo credit for these images? did the photographer place a watermark on any of the contact sheets?

Right on Broad
Right on Broad
5 years ago

Does anybody know what was on the WRVA site before construction of this building? I assume houses once stood there but have to wonder how they were situated in relation to that drop into the valley.

ChildSaversRVA
ChildSaversRVA
5 years ago

Community Board member John Murden pays tribute to the place we call home. If you’d like to visit our clinic to… http://t.co/yqILY5ZnFc

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