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This house will soon be demolished

There is a demolition permit pulled for this house at 3216 P Street, which is to be replaced by two smaller houses.

The city lists the property as being built in 1900, though a knowledgeable source describes it ante bellum.

The property sold in October of 2016 for $42,000 to Instant Construction, who also built the new house at 716 Chimborazo Boulevard.


3216 P Street (2014)

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Do you know anything about the old Garnett Print Shop?

John M


Catherine Illian 01/18/2017 at 6:19 PM

Is there anything that can be done??
It should not be demolished!

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/18/2017 at 7:37 PM

For many years, this was the only house on that side of the block (at least to 1925). Because, it was a pig farm. When the property was taken in within new city lines, in 1907, the owner was forced to sell off everything associated with slaughtering and meat processing since he could no longer do it within the city.

The block was divided off and new homes built when it was sold in the late 1920s.

Cadeho 01/19/2017 at 12:07 AM

On the 1867 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Map, is listed as Lieber. It must be saved and renovated.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/19/2017 at 11:59 AM

That would be Charles H. Lieber, a cattle farmer and meat seller. He was also a commissioner of the Courthouse district in Richmond of the trolley system.

Looks like that house and property had been a farm up until 1907.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/19/2017 at 1:16 PM

Yes, it should be saved. Obviously, it was built before 1867 and possibly by Lieber.

But, you would have to convince the new owner, who clearly has an eye on “profit” over “preservation”.

And, this area is not protected as part of the CAR’s O&H (Old & Historic), and just falls outside the National DHR Registry for Oakwood-Chimborazo Historic District. (an issue needing to be approached to expand the districts so there are no doughnut holes).

At the same time, we can not see what the foundation looks like or what an entire rehab would cost on this house… and sill be able to sell in line with comps in the area. The flip cost could outweigh a realistic property value and you will never get your money back out of it.

That said, has anyone seen the plans yet on what style houses or double they want to build? Hope it is similar to the original facade. If nothing else, when people tear down, they should incorporate some “historical” background about the property with the description and sale to at least be respectful to what was there since a piece of history is being lost forever.

Cadeho 01/20/2017 at 2:23 AM

Eric, I agree… the city should implement for houses 100 years old and older, if they have to be demolished, it should be replaced with either a duplicate or something similar. Can anyone convince the owner that preservation can be for profit too?

Cadeho 01/20/2017 at 1:49 PM

How many farm houses do we have left in the city, particularly with this architecture?

Carla Schaaf 01/20/2017 at 5:20 PM

I would love to see this house saved, it was the home of my ancestors.

The owner that was forced to sell everything associated with his slaughtering and meat processing was my Great Grandfather, John Bertram Schaaf. His father, William Schaaf, also a butcher, immigrated from Germany in 1846.

Charles Leiber’s son, Benjamin, married Addie Rackett, my Great Great Grandmother’s neice. The 1877 F W Beers map shows property as S. Rackett. and is adjacent to William Schaaf. Charles Leber died in 1870 and apparently the property went to Samuel Rackett, Addie’s father. The 1880 census shows Samuel Rackett and Benjamin Leber families both living in the house.

I do not know when the Schaaf family moved into the house. I know they were there from 1885 through 1910. The 1920 census shows them living on Barton Ave.

My Grandfather grew up in this house and his sister was married there in 1906.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/20/2017 at 6:35 PM

@8 Carla Schaaf

When I did the search on this property, I saw your family name associated. Wonderful background on the house and owners. Maybe you can contact the developer and convince them with the history in hand to change their plans?

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/20/2017 at 7:46 PM

Carla, were you able to find out through your own thorough research, to find the year when the farmhouse was built?

@7 Cadeho, I wonder too. They would be towards the North side and some, in what was called Shed Town, which extended beyond 28th Street. Our house was actually a city plantation and Capt. Wills inventory upon his death, showed livestock and 10 slaves. He owned several properties and when the mansion was built, it was the only house on this side of the 400 block of N 27th. A house that may have dated earlier, or about the same time, sat across the street but was torn down before 1886, when the current houses on the lot were built. So many early houses were torn down after the Civil War, and most larger homes gone by the 1930s. It is a miracle that our wood frame house still stands considering it is 204 years old. And so many more substantial and grander homes were torn down. A series of fortunate circumstances, or fate, only saved it.

In fact, in 1898, a real estate broker representing to sell it, was advertising to tear our house down to build multiple modern houses in its place… similar to what is happening to your ancestral home. I am not sure who or what saved it from that fate?

I would try. The worst that could happen is that your pleas fall on deaf ears. It could simply be a matter of investment and economics. But possibly they could divide the house to make it a double? Or even a triple? In any event, it is a piece of Church Hill history.

Carla Schaaf 01/21/2017 at 9:06 AM

I knew nothing about the possible demolition of this house until a few days ago when a preservation planner for the city of Richmond contacted me through

The house appears on the 1864 Mitchie Map as Lebier, this is as far back in time we have gotten so far. The preservation planner is going to check deeds and let me know what she finds.

Eric S. Huffstutler 01/22/2017 at 10:12 PM

@11 Carla, I am both surprised and glad that the City Planner went as far as trying to find family ties to this property. They must be getting better with outreach and have some inkling of interest towards preservation. It makes me proud of the city (for a moment at least).

Please let us know what you find or the status of the property as you are alerted. Thanks!

Matt Jarreau 02/14/2017 at 6:49 AM

Neighbors!! I saw this post and contacted the owner to see if he would be open to selling the property to someone who would restore it. After some back and forth I now have the listing and would love to try and get the property to someone who will salvage it. Its a sizeable renovation but I do think its a very interesting project for the right purchaser. Please call or email anytime to discuss 804-306-9019;


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