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New design for Citadel of Hope going to CAR in January (UPDATED)

UPDATED January 7, 2017 6:17 pm

Here are the images and renderings that have been sent to CAR. Click any image to view larger.

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ORIGINAL January 6, 2017 1:56 pm

Better Housing Coalition will be resubmitting the revised plans for the Citadel of Hope project to CAR today, to be on the agenda for Tuesday, January 24. (I will link to the document when they are available.) The request for the Certificate of Appropriateness from CAR was denied at the November 22, 2016 meeting, based on the massing of the 3 story building on Jessamine Street. In response to this and after community feedback, the new design features 3 smaller buildings on Jessamine Street rather than the longer single building initally proposed. The Citadel of Hope building was constructed in 1923 as the House of Happiness, a community center, by The City Circle of the Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union. Even as the southern side of that block of Venable has seen an amazing turnaround over the past 12 years, the Citadel of Hope has been a target for graffiti, and suffered a fire in 2011. The property was purchased by Better Housing Coalition in 2014, with word coming of plans for the property in late 2015.

Proposed for Jessamine and Carrington Streets (northwest corner of project block)
2 story building elevations
Venable St Site Plan (v2)

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Lee 01/06/2017 at 3:31 PM

The two and three story buildings are a big step in the right direction, as they have more of the appearance of a traditional garden apartment/fourplex/sixplex. The facades could still be better, but at least the layout looks like it references an existing building type in the neighborhood.

I have no idea about the interior layout since the documents aren’t up yet, but for the four and six unit buildings, BHC should want to consider covered back decks/porches with exterior stairs, which are typical for older structures in this area. I think it’s kind of a tossup whether they make the building safer – they add a second exit in the event of an emergency and may encourage more eyes on the rear/parking lot. But they also might take away from activity/eyes on the streets themselves.

Also, the two buildings on Venable should be symmetrically arranged around the citadel of hope and feature more complimentary facades so that they can frame and bookend the historic structure and created a partially enclosed yard/court. There is an apartment block on the 1600 Block of Grove that is a good cexample for what I’m suggesting:,-77.4603022,3a,75y,26.01h,70.15t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s7WOzVrj19ocM2wpFfh3IKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Don O'Keefe 01/07/2017 at 12:32 AM

What is with this trend of pretending that the uppermost floor of a building simply doesn’t exist? I guess it is intended to pacify conservative neighborhood groups by saying something like: “at least we tried.”

Don’t try. If you’re going to be four stories, be four stories. There’s nothing wrong with it. Be proud.

Rob Pate 01/07/2017 at 8:16 AM

Man thats alot of density! I sure like the smaller two-story units much better.

Cadeho 01/07/2017 at 10:03 PM

Oh they are keeping the gas station

Opinion: Reading American History in an Architectural Detail | Architecture Richmond 01/10/2017 at 5:13 AM

[…] Credits: Image 1, Citadel of Hope, via Church Hill People’s News, 2017 Image 2, Jefferson Street Triangle Development, via Church Hill People’s News, 2017 Images […]


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