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George Mason Elementary – C.A.R. Says City/School Must Preserve Oldest Part of Building

Richmond’s Commission of Architectural Review (CAR) has spoken. They have asked Richmond Public Schools to preserve the oldest part of George Mason Elementary which was built in 1922.

RPS wanted to demolish the entire structure. However, CAR has decided that there is enough historical value to at least explore options to preserve the original 1922 structure. In response, RPS says that they don’t have the funds to renovate that section nor do they have the authority to sell it.

Anyone that visited George Mason knew that it was an amalgamation of different structures. The original 1922 portion included 10 classrooms along with various utility rooms.

CAR did provide approval for them to demolish the rest of the building & structures surrounding this original section.

For more information, there is a detailed Richmond Time Dispatch article here: https://www.richmond.com/news/local/panel-says-richmond-public-schools-must-preserve-oldest-part-of/article_129ca76d-6c30-5f8a-955e-17aa41d0a2bc.html

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Geneva smithJoshuaChris HarnishLiv GlavéMeghanne Ogburn Recent comment authors

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Daniel Meehan
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???? This city can’t get out of its own way! You can’t have it both ways.

Amber Swensen
Guest

Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
Imho, it adds to the charm of the city, which is good for the overall economy. That charm only grows overtime.
Furthermore, it’s good for schools to have some history. It means something. It connects us to our past and future.

Alex Goodmundson
Guest

Demo the other part keep the older building and make it a museum of cultural history.

Jay Mass
Guest

People dont understand the pride of attending the same elementary school as a great grand parent. And being told the history. People new to the community could care less about history

Derrick Mink
Guest

That’s a must on church hill

Chelsea Harnish
Guest

What exactly is “charming” about a decrepit and dilapidated building that is in dire need of major renovations that the School Board cannot currently, and will not in the future, have funds to fix and maintain? We need to put our children first. That building sits where the proposed ball fields and the playground were designed to go. These are things our community and our children need. Not some building that will continue to degrade over time and eventually become a safety hazard becuase no one has the funds to maintain.

Amber Swensen
Guest

Chelsea Harnish wouldn’t any and all buildings degrade over time and become a safety hazard? Historical architecture is what makes Richmond stand out from other towns and cities in VA and across the mid Atlantic region.
If we hope to change cultural attitudes, we have to be willing to restore and maintain what we already have instead of endlessly building and tearing down.

Amber Swensen
Guest

Chelsea Harnish I briefly studied at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg before transferring to VCU. The old buildings at UMW attract many students & make them fall in love with the campus. I lived in VA Hall. It was gorgeous but had no AC! I got a heat rash that year. But I still preferred it to the brand new residence hall, which has great AC, but seems sterile and dead compared to the richly historical, decrepit buildings surrounding it.

Jenn GrayWolford
Guest

Good. History is important.

Meghanne Ogburn
Guest

this argument is inconsequential….maybe if they didn’t already build the new school, sure…but the old school isn’t going to be repurposed or redone to house students or anyone else for that matter…its going to sit and continue to rot creating even more of a safety hazard than it already is because it will be vacant, except for people who will break into it and do illegal things which fyi 100% happens so lets not pretend like this is not the future of this building or give false hopes that the police will make sure it is secure. There is absolutely… Read more »

Liv Glavé
Guest

There are many examples of old.buildings being designed into newer ones. Even right in our city. The Turkish Bath facade on Main which was a part of GRC and now the new structure there. The Battle Abby portion of the Virginia Historical Society and many others. It’s time to get creative. Our city has excellent architects and creators of all kinds. CAR is only trying to help us preserve the character of our city, it’s history and the path forward.

Chris Harnish
Guest

Amber Swensen why don’t you start a go fund me campaign if preservation of this health hazard is so important. I put our future ahead of the past. Things can be replace, lives cannot. Our kids deserve a safe, fun place to play. Play is essential to health and learning.

I say learn from the past, don’t save junk.

Joshua
Guest
Joshua

Keeping this building is so unfortunate. So much for the green space that was planned as part of the new building. Once again the city is hampering present enjoyment and success of the future by preserving a symbol of the past. Preserving something just because it is old is not a reason, especially when there are more than enough other higher priorities to spend money on. This building will be in the way and needs to go.

Geneva smith
Guest
Geneva smith

The city is not at fault here.