1000 West Grace Street
Built, 1898 – 1901
Architect, Baskervill & Son
Right across from where the Village used to be, there stood a hospital.
This is one of the main Hospitals of Richmond, which, with the Medical Colleges, have made the City known for and wide as a health resort. Richmond Hospitals are second to none.
Drs. Hunter and Stuart McGuire’s private sanatorium, corner of Grace and Harrison Streets, Richmond, Va.
St. Luke’s was founded in 1883 by Dr. Hunter McGuire, a Winchester native. The surgeon, one of the most esteemed figures of the Confederacy, served Stonewall Jackson’s corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. In 1863, it was McGuire who amputated Jackson’s arm after a bullet wound that would prove fatal and he was present in April 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
A year after he opened St. Luke’s Hospital on West Grace Street, McGuire died, and his son, Dr. Stuart McGuire, took over. Despite closing its doors temporarily during World War I when the younger McGuire went to work in war-torn France, St. Luke’s later expanded. A fourth floor was added in 1906, and in the 1920s four contiguous townhouses, just west of the hospital, were added to the complex.
Today, the corner is the home of the Grace and Harrison, Broad and Ryland Student Housing, completed and occupied since the above photo was taken.
Curiously, in the acquisition of the postcard at top, the vendor included a surprise – almost unnoticed and thrown away! No note of explanation included, nothing to actually link it concretely with the hospital, other than the legend engraved on the stem.
And yet, this spoon might just be a survivor of the St. Luke’s cafeteria’s creamed chipped beef.
- (rocket werks) RVA postcard collection.
- (Style Weekly) Up From the Asphalt. Edwin Slipek. August 5, 2014.
- (Valentine Museum) St. Luke’s Hospital circa 1940.
- (Valentine Museum) Recent graduates from the School of Nursing at St. Luke’s Hospital, 1968.
RVA Legends is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!
RVA Legends — Architectural Iron Works
A look into the history of Richmond places that are no longer part of our landscape.
- 1008-1012 East Cary Street
One of the “constellation of firms” associated with iron man Asa Snyder. [CAW]
Asa Snyder & Co. Proprietors. Thirty-five years ago this establishment was founded by the late Asa Snyder in a very moderate way, but it gave genuine evidence of enterprise from the start, and in a few years it became a noted landmark of business industry. War, fire, and financial strife, have battered at its doors, but it still stands a monument to the enterprise of its founder.
Its contributions to the trade reflect the greatest credit on the mechanical skill of those employed in its several constructive departments. They find a large and steady demand from Virginia and West Virginia, North and South Carolina, for their beautiful and reliable goods of architectural designs. They employ sixty hands, and have a cupola capacity for making five tons of castings per hour.
Their specialties are all kinds of galvanized, cast and wrought iron used in building, which embraces vault doors, elevators,. fence and balcony railings, verandas, skylights, cornices, window hoods, steeples, &c. They are also manufacturers of Hayes’ Patent Skylight, Hyatt’s Patent Area Light, for which they control Virginia.
Messrs. Asa K. Snyder and Benj. J. Atkins comprise the present firm of Asa Snyder & Co. They were both members of the firm at the time of the death of Mr. Asa Snyder, in 1884, and have continued under the same firm name.
Snyder may have been well-known, but he was not the biggest game in town.
Mr. Asa K. Snyder was born and raised here, and was brought up in the iron trade. He is also in the pig iron and foundry supply brokerage business.
Mr. Atkins resides in Manchester. He has been connected with this house for twenty years, and has been a partner in the concern since 1877. [IOR]
Mention has been made of the three great iron works here, the Tredegar, the Old Dominion and the Richmond Locomotive Works, employing probably 2,500 hands between them. Of this class, there are, besides, two big stove works, the Richmond Spike Works and the Johnson forge, for car axles, in Manchester; electric light, and electrical construction companies and establishments, and half a dozen carriage and wagon and agricultural implement works, of more than local note and business, not to mention the minor shops and smithies that are here in scores. [RVCJ93]
Despite this, Snyder’s work was arguably longer-lived and more visible than any of the big three.
A number of partial facades were provided by Richmonder Asa Snyder. Snyder, along with the constellation of firms associated with his name, seems to have had several standard designs. Several buildings used a squared-off, classical colonnade with capitals made up of what looks like slightly over-ripe fruit. Others used a more geometrically precise rectangular ornament. Snyder provided a full range of architectural ornaments for his buildings which also possess cast iron window caps and cornices.
Snyder also provided the ironwork for the 1871 Columbian Building, now Sam Miller’s Exchange Cafe. The building possesses galvanized cornices and cast iron window caps. The most impressive use of iron in the building is the attenuated Corinthian columns used to support the roof of the third floor Exchange Room. The Columbian Building was Richmond’s corn and grain exchange and the Exchange Room is one of the most important early commercial spaces remaining in the city.
The most curious of the fronts is a minuscule building inserted in a 7 ½ foot space on Main Street. While painted to match the adjacent Southern Railroad Supply Building, this structure is completely different and distinct. It was made by Architectural Ironworks of Richmond, one of Snyder’s firms. [CAW]
The man got around. Or rather men. As noted above, Asa Snyder died in 1884, leaving the business to his son, Asa K. Snyder. The son himself would die in 1892 at the tender age of 32, and despite a Richmond Times advertisement from 1894, the end of the company was nigh.
The block where the foundry stood would be substantially altered with the construction of the First & Merchants National Bank Building in 1973, which eliminated the portion of Eleventh Street that used to run through it. The image above is an approximation of where Eleventh Street would have been (right), putting Architectural Iron Works somewhere in the center.
(Architectural Iron Works is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [AAA] Allison & Addison’s Handbook of the Garden, Seed Catalog, and Almanac for 1868.
- [CAW] Cast and Wrought. Robert P. Withrop. 1980.
- [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
- [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.
Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors
A look back at the corner 18th and Franklin Streets.
Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors
Mr. S. W. Robinson, Prop.
Corner 18th and Franklin Sts.
Spottswood W. Robinson was born in King William Co., Va. Dec. 15, 1858, attended school in the country only six months and has never attended any educational institution since. He left King William Co., and came to Richmond and stayed with Dr. O. A. Crenshaw attending to milk dairy etc. He remained with him about one year. He then went to Mr. N. J. Smith and remained with him in business from ‘71 to ’79. At that time he went into business for himself on Main St., bet. 18th and 19th Sts. He removed then to 16 N. 18th St., and from there to his present location, No. 23 N. 18th St. (Richmond Planet)
And there’s Masonic Hall right behind where this used to be.
(Wholesale and Retail, Wines and Liquors is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
Must-See RVA! — Church of the Sacred Heart
A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.
- AKA, Sacred Heart Catholic Church
- 1401 Perry Street
- Built, 1901
- Architect, Joseph Hubert McGuire
- VDHR 127-0859-0244
That other Sacred Heart, in ol’ Manchester.
In 1876 Bishop James Gibbons purchased a tract at Fourteenth and Perry Streets. There were forty to fifty Catholic families in Manchester and norther Chesterfield County at this time. Most worshipped in Richmond at St. Peter’s Cathedral on Grace Street or at St. Mary’s Church on Marshall Street. In 1897 a new school was built next to the Fourteenth and Perry Street property.
About this time the wealthy Mrs. Thomas Fortune Ryan of New York offered to build a church at Fourteenth and Perry Streets and a school across the street. She requested that the school be named Sacred Heart. The church was so named, and also the school. [OME]
What the lady wants, the lady gets. But let’s back the bus up.
The church and school that shaped leaders of the Catholic community in southside Virginia are significant because of their association with Thomas Fortune Ryan and his wife Ida Mary Barry Ryan. Ryan, a native Virginian, noted financier and patron of the arts, donated more than twenty million dollars to Roman Catholic causes throughout his life.
That includes funding the construction of a new Catholic cathedral across from Monroe Park.
That project would break ground in 1903, two years after Church of the Sacred Heart, and when finished in 1906, the new cathedral would supplant St. Peter’s as the seat of the diocese.
It would also be called Sacred Heart and would be designed by the same architect, but the version on Perry Street came first.
The two churches could not be more different stylistically. One is an Italian Renaissance Revival masterpiece; the other, an ode to red brick.
The front elevation (southeast) is divided into three primary sections with narrow lancet-style windows flanking the central section, and a corner tower to the southeast. There are three rectangular windows above the belt course in the central section separated from the elaborate Roman arch window by decorative circle and square brickwork.
Roman arched fenestration is typical throughout the Church of the Sacred Heart with the exception of the three rectangular windows mentioned above. A corbel table at the roofline frames the elaborate round-arched stained-glass window on the front facade. The corner tower has a granite foundation and steps leading to arched doorcases with double-leaf doors capped by fanlights and frontons, or pediments supported by large paired brackets.
Recessed brick panels with corbel tables, an open attic with columns and balustrade, and a pyramidal roof with flared eaves complete the tower. Clear delineation of the bays by the use of pilasters and brick corbelling, use of circle and square motifs and overall visual hints of the underlying skeletal structure, all suggest an Ecole des BeauxArts influence in the design.
The Church of the Sacred Heart is entered through six-panel doors, surmounted by fanlights and frontons, on the southeast and northeast facades of the corner tower. Square coffers in the ceiling of the tower and west porch entries, simple geometric patterns in the stained-glass windows, plain unadorned walls as well as the circle and square motif in the gallery balustrade reflect the Renaissance Revival style on the church interior.
A Roman arch, once flanked by altars on both sides, separates the apse from the nave. The Roman arch, echoed down the nave by the hammer-beam ceiling, is used to further delineate each bay.
The arched window in the southeast facade is mirrored in the apse end by a stained-glass rose window above the altar. The elevated framed arched windows that line the nave, and the Doric-style columns with brackets in the manner of the Badia di Fiesole all enhance the Renaissance character of this building.
The church is a testament to the power of a single patron. The church and school that shaped leaders of the Catholic community in southside Virginia are significant because of their association with Thomas Fortune Ryan and his wife Ida Mary Barry Ryan. (VDHR)
It’s also a thing of beauty, easy for the casual commuter to miss as they cruise down Perry Street. If this is you, dear reader, you owe it to yourself to take a moment and check it out yourself.
As for the disconnect between the Department of Historic Resources’s count of the door panels and what actually hangs on hinges today, the only conclusion to draw is that they must have been replaced sometime after the church joined the historic registry in 2002.
(Church of the Sacred Heart is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)
- [FAM] Famous Living Americans. Edited, Mary Griffin Web & Edna Lenore Webb. 1915.
- [OME] Old Manchester & its Environs, 1769 – 1910. Benjamin B. Weisinger III. 1993.
Must-See RVA! is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!