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RVA Legends — Cornelius Crew House

A look into the history of Richmond places and people that have disappeared from the landscape.

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310 North Nineteenth Street
Built, 1845
Demolished, unknown

This house was built in 1845 by Cornelius Crew. Crew was born in Charles City County in 1805, of Quaker parents, but by 1834 he had established himself in Richmond and had bought the soap and candle factory of Margaret Maule. His successful business was continued by his son under the name of P. J. Crew and Company, and older citizens claim they remember the very smell of Crew’s “Dixie Soap.” Converted to Methodism, Cornelius Crew joined with those members of old Trinity Church who organized the “new” Trinity, at Twentieth and Broad, to which he was a generous contributor. He died in January, 1865.

cornelius_crew_house1

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) – Library of Congress

Mr. and Mrs. Crew were remembered by their little grandson, George Warren, who lived in the old house as a child. They were kindly people and took into their home a young man, also named George, who had begun life by working as a lad in the Crew factory. The Crews built an office for him in their big yard, and after he was married he used to stop by every morning and was always invited in to breakfast. Every morning the same dialogue took place: “And George, how is Sally?” to which inquiry the invariable answer was, “Sally is complaining.”

cornelius_corn_house2

Beers Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond, 1877 – Library of Congress

Mrs. Crew was living in the old home as late as 1881, and it was not sold until three years later. For many years it belonged to William A. Boswell, a large property-holder on Church Hill and in that vicinity. Mrs. Boswell left it to Mary E. Smith, who owned it up to 1921.

cornelius_corn_house3

August 2016

The porch was lengthened a few years ago, which takes away much of its charm. While it has Greek Revival characteristics, such as the porch and the triple window above it, still it has a certain informality which gives the houses built on the outskirts of town a character quite different from those of the same period which were strictly city houses. The especial attraction of the Crew house is its location on the edge of a real ravine. On the street side there are two floors, but on the rear or garden side there are three. Even with the garden and outbuildings gone, the abrupt descent and the large trees still remaining make it a house that immediately attracts the passer-by. [HOR]

Today, this block is consumed by the Cedar Broad Apartments, part of the unofficial VCU Medical College bedroom community.

Sources

  • [HOR] — Houses of Old Richmond. Mary Wingfield Scott. 1941.
  • (LOC) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905)
  • (LOC) — Beers Illustrated Atlas of the City of Richmond, 1877

rocket_werksRVA Legends is a regular series appearing on rocket werks – check it out!

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Combining protean forces from the forbidden Zero Serum with the unbridled power of atomic fusion, to better probe the Wisdom of the Ancients and their Forgotten Culture.

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Community

Richmond Chess Club Hosting Kid’s Chess this Saturday

A great chance to learn about or get better at chess.

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The Richmond Chess Club meets throughout the city every week for games. Often at breweries and bars so naturally it’s usually adults. This weekend their mixing it up and hoping to attract a younger set.

From Facebook

Excited to announce our first kid’s club meetup!

We’ll be at the Richmond Public Library (101 East Franklin) on Saturday at 1:00-5:00.

It will be a workshop environment with some of our coaches helping out teaching basic principles and ideas. And of course there will be plenty of time for casual games between students.

Open for kids (and parents) of all ages and it’s completely free. Masks required. Let us know if you can make it! We plan to do this every other Saturday going forward.

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Downtown

Senate panel shoots down bill that would make mask and vaccine mandates illegal

Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted down GOP legislation Monday that would have classified mask mandates and vaccine requirements as illegal discrimination.

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Democrats in the Virginia Senate voted down GOP legislation Monday that would have classified mask mandates and vaccine requirements as illegal discrimination.

The measures, proposed by Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, drew unanimous support from Republicans on the Senate’s General Laws Committee.

“It’s time to give people the freedom to breathe and the freedom of choice,” Chase told the panel.

Her bills would have prevented schools, businesses and other public places from requiring people to wear masks or disclose their vaccine status.

Witnesses who spoke in support of the legislation said they opposed masks for a variety of reasons. One mother told lawmakers that masks gave her child nightmares. One man said that masks gave him seizures. A third witness said masks made her dizzy.

“We are being discriminated against,” said Doris Knicks, who spoke to the panel remotely.

On vaccines, Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, a practicing OBGYN, called it “egregious and a complete violation of an individual’s right to privacy” for businesses like restaurants to require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We shouldn’t be using this as a litmus test for people to be able to get into stores,” she said.

Democrats on the panel noted vaccine requirements are not unique to COVID-19 and said businesses should have the authority to take steps to keep their employees safe.

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Venture Richmond Offering Up 10k Broad Street Tenant Recruitment Grants

Venture Richmond was awarded a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development to help recruit ten new tenants to Broad Street in Downtown Richmond. Each new tenant will get a $10,000 grant for moving in and opening by May 15, 2022.

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From Venture Richmond

Venture Richmond was awarded a grant from the Virginia Department of Housing & Community Development to help recruit ten new tenants to Broad Street in Downtown Richmond. Each new tenant will get a $10,000 grant for moving in and opening by May 15, 2022. Venture Richmond is partnering with the Metropolitan Business League (MBL) to help recruit existing small, women, and minority (SWaM) and immigrant-owned businesses to ­fill street-level vacancies in the area.

​The new businesses will join many galleries, retailers, restaurants, and small businesses who already call Broad Street home, as well as businesses that attract thousands of out of town visitors annually like Quirk Hotel, Richmond Marriott, the Hilton Hotel, and the Convention Center. Gather, co-working space, has a location in the area. A popular neighborhood happening is RVA First Fridays Artwalk which is a monthly celebration of the arts and galleries along and around Broad St. This section of Broad Street is also a part of Richmond’s Arts District and adjacent to Jackson Ward, near the VCU Monroe Park Campus and the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) to the west and City and State offices and VCU Health to the east.

THE CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:

  • Eligible once the business has moved into the space and opened for business by May 15, 2022.
  • Veri­fied 1-year minimum lease
  • Lease street-level space on Broad Street between Belvidere and 5th streets
  • New business to Downtown, not the relocation of an existing business in the General District/BID.
  • Existing businesses in the General District, who want to open an additional location on Broad Street.
  • Existing businesses located outside of the General District, who want to open another location/outpost on Broad Street.
  • Types of qualifying businesses include retailers, restaurants, makers, entrepreneurs, startups, and other creative businesses.
  • One $10,000 reimbursement grant per storefront, if a group of small businesses wanted to share space there would only be one grant available for the group.
  • Only eligible once
  • Availability based on ­first come fi­rst served

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR ASSISTANCE, CONTACT:

Micah White

Business Development Manager

The MBL

804-356-9298

[email protected]

Lucy Meade

Director Economic Development & Community Relations

Venture Richmond, Inc.

804-248-8372

[email protected]

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