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Must-See RVA! — The Virginia

A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.

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1 North Fifth Street
Built, 1906
VDHR 127-0215

The Virginia was erected in 1906 as the headquarters of Richmond’s. second largest fire insurance company. In addition, to housing the Virginia State Insurance Company, it accommodated high quality apartments and professional offices. This combination of uses was unique in Richmond at that time, and was never attempted again. Located.in the old and prestigious 5th Street residential area, the design of the structure was carefully contrived to blend with the commercial character of 5th Street. The split nature of the building is subtly expressed in the restrained yet inventive treatment of the exterior. While it is much newer and larger than its historic neighbors, the Virginia contributes greatly to the harmonious character of the street which still preserves and suggests the ambiance of the 19th century.

The Virginia VDHR

VDHR – Nomination photo, 1982

Fifth Street was developed at the turn of the 19th century asla prestigious residential district. At that time a series of important houses were built of which only the Hancock Caskie House (1808-1810), one of the finest neo-classical mansions in Virginia, survives.

This nucleus of fine houses was augmented in the 1840s by the construction of a number of Greek Revival houses, namely the present Scott-Clarke (1841) and the Sarret houses. The street’s only church, Second Presbyterian, was erected in 1847 and was designed by the noted Brooklyn architect Minard Lafever. This, the first major example of the Gothic Revival in Richmond, stands immediately adjacent to the Virginia.

Doorway, The Virginia

July 2016

Fifth Street remained a preferred residential district throughout the later 19th century. A Richmond guidebook of 1906 stated “The apartment house fad has come to Richmond to stay and the City can now boast of several very handsome flats.”

The Virginia State Insurance Company was established in 1865 by businessmen who were active in. Richmond’s post-war recovery. In 1891, it had sixty- three agents scattered over Virginia and noted that its business had doubled during the preceding year. In 1902-03, it was larger than the Mutual Assurance Company. The president of the company from 1902 onward was Judge George L. Christian, a colorful and prominent leader in post-war Richmond.

Cornice, The Virginia

July 2016

The brickwork, which is one of the most notable decorative features of the Virginia, is rendered in low relief. This permits bold and strong detail, like the rustication, quoins, and the Greek key in the cornice, without disrupting the basic design coherence of the structure.

The combination of a conventional design paired with inventive detail and a free composition of elements is rare in Classical buildings. Facing a neo-classical mansion of 1809 and adjacent to a Gothic Revival church, the Virginia makes an architectural contribution of its own without disrupting or injuring the qualities of its neighbors. (VDHR)


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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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Community

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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