Is any structure that is elderly give it irreplaceable value?
Why is this building worth saving?
The terminal’s brutal appearance suggests little of its romantic past. It was constructed in 1937 during the Great Depression, probably as a New Deal infrastructure stimulus project. Raw sugar from Cuba initially was stored here until the ingredient found its way into local tobacco products. In 1939, 1.5 million tons of sugar passed through the warehouse, some of which was transferred to rail for shipment to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for candy bars.
In addition to linking Richmond with Havana harbor and Pennsylvania chocolate makers, the terminal building itself is like none other. It is the rare structure locally that is built into a hillside. And the fact that a city street once ran under the building testifies to how densely built-up this now picturesque area once was. While other warehouses in the immediate vicinity that housed sugar are now lost, the so-called “sugar pad” remains: It’s an expanse of concrete set between Terminal No. 3 and the river that is populated sporadically by local fishermen.
Today, Terminal No. 3 is a welcome architectural landmark along the 52-mile Capital Trail, a world-class amenity, delighting cyclists, runners and pedestrians, as well as those in passing vehicles. And while the building is concrete-tough, its open bays three sides of the ground level are slightly arched, adding subliminal gracefulness to the building.
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Reaction from social media
despite writing as an ~architecture critic~ Ed Slipek is totally and completely in line with the broken record of every other antique white dude in Richmond in insisting that any structure being slightly elderly gives it inherent and irreplaceable value pic.twitter.com/HCGAsX1uia
— Taber Andrew Bain (@taber) April 11, 2018
Old doesn’t mean historic. Housing sugar decades ago is no reason to keep the eyesore around today.
— JayDub (@JayDubRan) April 10, 2018
Reddit (/rva) is having a healthy debate on the platform: Everything is Historic, Nothing Should Change
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For more on this story check out: Is the Richmond Terminal Warehouse to be demolished?
Sound off at the meeting tonight! 7th District Meeting with Councilwoman Newbille
*Featured photo taken by Scott Elmquist