For years, this peculiar structure has towered over the Church Hill area, ominously looking down at us as we go on about our busy lives. Some of us, however, question just what is that thing?! Does the tower serve any purpose? Who owns it?
I had the same dire questions, and instead of searching through CHPN’s article history and finding that exact answer, I decided to brave the pleasant 70 degree weather earlier last week to find out for myself.
My journey begins at the cross between N. 21st and E Grace, where I almost got hit by a car while crossing the stop sign (darn Richmond drivers!). From there, I trotted along N. 21st until I reached E. Broad Street and made a right onto it. Another right into N. 22nd St and I arrived at a building with the name ChildSavers brandished by its door and behind it…the elusive tower I’ve been pursuing.
Unfortunately, the building was closed by the time I arrived, but I did find out that ChildSavers is a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing our children for school, address mental health, and recover from trauma through child development services! They’ve done a lot of good for our community and our children. Click here for some success stories!
The WRVA Building was designed by American architect, Philip Johnson. As its name implies, the tower was originally built to host WRVA (AM), one of Virginia’s very first radio stations! Here’s a not-so-fun-fact about Philip Johnson: there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding his views on how society should be run!
Also, as pointed out by our phenomenal readers, the tower was also used by none other than Richmond’s Q94! There weren’t any sources over the web that I could find, but Q94’s Chief Engineer confirmed it over a short phone call. You rock, CHPN audience!
Currently, while the building is occupied by delightful people, it doesn’t seem that the tower itself is in use for any broadcasting. Instead, it overlooks the area, serving as one of Church Hill’s most notable landmarks.
But that’s not all that’s special about this place! It’s actually nestled in a picturesque area, with a beautiful view of the city!
I didn’t notice those words carved into the ground in the above picture. Look at the bottom left! I’m unsure of what they read, however.
While scurrying around the area, I noticed a dirt path leading down towards the left side. Feeling adventurous, I decided to follow it.
After some moments of walking, the path opened up to a breathtaking view of the other side of the city.
That’s all for this article, folks! Make sure you visit this area, search “Church Hill Overlook” on google maps and it’ll lead you there. It’s a popular spot, not hidden at all, but it can still be easy to miss if you’re not around often. It’s worth the trip!
Oh, and just for your information…I later found out there was an easier way to get to the area while making my way back. Just use the stairs at N. 21st and E. Franklin. There’s a “Taylor’s Hill Park” sign right by them.