Updates??? Does anyone have any insight?
Wills Grocery Store at 401 N 27th built in 1815 (the oldest commercial building in Richmond) is in trouble. After 15 years following the building’s progress and decay, Eric wants some answers.
A post from Eric H. shared with us on our FB Page.
So what’s happening? Does the City seem aware?
From what I know, the owners are always under the radar doing “just enough” to get by with the city.
The wall started splitting because of the bricks under the stucco had fallen apart due to all of the mortar having disintegrated to a point there was none left. The owner just slathered some new mortar over them instead of fixing the issue. More recently, they removed the stucco on the lower section and “quickly” placed more on it . However, now you can see more loose bricks in areas they didn’t completely cover. This was apparently done without a permit and so work stopped.
Has the building been inspected?
The Historic Richmond Foundation supposedly hired an independent contractor to inspect the building who said it was safe. However, I do not know how they could make such a claim considering the hidden damage under the old stucco and see corresponding cracks on the interior brick wall for those on the exterior… not to mention what I have seen and know about the foundation, back wall, and previous serious damages simply “patched”. I have tried to get a response from the HRF, the city, the CHA and others to no avail.
What’s the significance of this?
With this being a historic building, considering that several years ago it was greenlighted by then, former governor (then mayor) Doug Wilder, and spot blighted but never followed through, (was to be spot blighted no matter what the owners did to fix issues at that point but backed out). I would think someone or some organization could step in to do something?
What else should we know?
Question that “inspector’s” findings! They are obviously blind only going by what they saw on the inside. One layer of multi-layers of brick and could crumble down due to weight at any time.
What do you think neighbors? This is one of the oldest buildings in the City and it’d be a shame to see it crumble. Some argue that it’s too expensive a project. At one point, Grisette was supposed to open in that building and complications led them to their current spot.