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Kathryn S. Parkhurst’s Expansion and Exclusion: A Case Study of Gentrification in Church Hill

Kathryn S. Parkhurst’s recent thesis Expansion and Exclusion: A Case Study of Gentrification in Church Hill (PDF) is a 94-page deep dive into the last 60 years or so up here on the plateau:

This thesis explores the gentrification process in Church Hill, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Richmond, Virginia.

After World War II, Richmond residents knew Church Hill mostly for its crime rate and dilapidated housing. The white, middle-class flight to the suburbs left the remaining residents, mostly African American, to experience decades of disinvestment. Church Hill was considered a neighborhood to avoid for much of the late twentieth century. Yet, Church Hill is currently one of the most desired neighborhoods in Richmond, particularly for young professionals.

This thesis seeks to explain the reasons why there has been such a dramatic change in the perception of Church Hill and whether revitalization can occur without causing gentrification. Chapter 1 explores the top-down efforts of the Historic Richmond Foundation, a non-profit organization, and the Model Neighborhood Program, a federal program. Chapter 2 explores revitalization efforts by various non-profits organizations as each tried to work with community members. Chapter 3 explores the reasons why young professionals are moving into Church Hill and the impact of gentrification on the neighborhood.

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Amy Nichols-Belo
Amy Nichols-Belo
4 years ago

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Jasmine Barber
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Kelly Alexandra Stauffer
4 years ago

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Allie Ludeman
Allie Ludeman
4 years ago

Wow, very interesting. Looking forward to reading more!

Allie Ludeman
Allie Ludeman
4 years ago

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Lee
Lee
4 years ago

I’m only about halfway through, but this makes for some pretty fascinating reading.

Susy Schumann
Susy Schumann
4 years ago

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Russ Porter
Russ Porter
4 years ago

I’ve been trying to download the pdf with no success. I click the like and go somewhere unrelated. A little little help please.

Jacob Nieding
Jacob Nieding
4 years ago

As a white, childless, mid 30’s, professional that recently moved to Church Hill for the proximity to the city this article hits close to home. Excellent case study.

Isabel Luisa
Isabel Luisa
4 years ago

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Funmilayo Muyide
Funmilayo Muyide
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Martha McConnell Looney
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Linwood (Chop) Cousins
Linwood (Chop) Cousins
4 years ago

This is an important and necessary study, but relatively incomplete. Its incompleteness is not meant as a criticism or shortcoming of the author, but rather an opinion that more needs to be written and that there are deeper stories to be told. For example, what has become of the low-income and, though it is underplayed, middle-income families, that lived and thrived in Churchill during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. How did they manage their economic, political and social circumstances, including the stigma of living in what was perceived, even by African Americans in other neighborhoods, as a second-class, dangerous community?… Read more »

Dave Seibert
Dave Seibert
4 years ago

I read the whole thing. Very interesting read.

Preddy Ray
Preddy Ray
4 years ago

I haven’t read it and am not searching it out to read. Having grown up in Church Hill I did not view it as a crime ridden area in need of saving. It was my home. A neighborhood that made many contributions to the city and the lives of its residents. I don’t marvel at gentrification. It is just a process where people have access monies that were denied to those who wanted and needed them.

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