Connect with us
[adrotate banner="51"]

Hills & Heights

Must-See RVA! — Stephen Putney Shoe Company

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

Published

on

AKA, Great Battle Axe Shoe Company
2220 West Broad Street
Built, 1903
Architects, Walter D. Blair, J.E.B. Carpenter

By the turn of the century, the combination of undeveloped land and easy access to railroad and streetcar systems made the West Broad Street Industrial and Commercial Historic District an attractive area for the construction of factories and warehouses.

These large parcels allowed for the construction of equally large industrial operations such as the Stephen Putney Shoe Company and the C.F. Sauer Headquarters that needed more land for their expansive operations, along with convenient rail and road transportation access. This land pattern is still evident in the distribution of business in the District today.

(LOC) — circa 1909

The Putney Shoe Company was established in 1817, when Samuel Putney traveled from Massachusetts to Richmond to sell shoes. In 1859 Samuel’s nephew, Stephen Putney, came to Richmond to join the family firm, which would carry his name following the Civil War.

http://sanborn1.proquest.com/map.php?m=619815

(ProQuest® Sanborn Maps Geo Edition™) — Sanborn Insurance Maps of Manchester (1905) — Plate 12

The Stephen Putney Shoe Company prospered, and after 1880 established a large industrial plant at 9th and Perry Streets in Manchester. By 1900, this section of Manchester, which followed the James River, was heavily industrial. The neighborhood was served and connected to Richmond by the railway, which both supported and encouraged the expansion of its industrial character. It was further connected to the city by roads, including bridges across the James.

(ProQuest® Sanborn Maps Geo Edition™) — Sanborn Insurance Maps of Richmond (1925) — Plate 476

By 1903, the Putney Shoe Company had expanded to the point where its original Manchester location was no longer useful, and had purchased a portion of the former state Fairgrounds, just north of the intersection of West Broad Street and Hermitage Road. The site was more convenient to road and rail, and provided the company with the space it needed.

June 2014

The firm commissioned Walter D. Blair of Richmond and J.E.B. Carpenter of Norfolk to design the new building, which would combine offices with manufacturing and distribution. Blair and Carpenter adapted an elaborate five-part façade, such as that seen in the similar design of J. I. Hittorf’s 1859 Gare du Nord, into a simpler three-part façade with a single, glazed entrance archway flanked by two low wings.

June 2014

The building combined a large industrial area as three linked, single-story spaces, lit by clerestory windows. A two-story section behind the elevation immediately fronting on Broad Street was designed to contain the sales and administrative offices. A large arched opening at the rear of the building allowed entrance for two sections of rail, taking full advantage of this means of transportation by easing both unloading of supplies and loading of finished product. Two large side aisles, lit by windows and lightwells, were used for work and storage. 22 Just as the new Putney Shoe Company was nearing completion in 1905, Stephen Putney died.

June 2014 — rear addition

The Putney Shoe Company is an example of fireproof construction, featuring bearing walls of brick (with the primary elevation stuccoed) and poured concrete floors, roof and columns. The building’s fireproof construction, emphasis on abundant light, and immediate access to rail lines made it a model of efficiency and safety.

(Virginia Chronicle) — The Times Dispatch — 12 September 1909

The Putney Shoe Company shipped twice as many cases of shoes annually (over 100,000 cases in 1907) as its competition in Richmond (two private factories in Shockoe Valley and a shop located within the Virginia Penitentiary, near the Tredegar Ironworks). Company advertisements boasted that the plant contained more ground-floor space than any other factory in the South, and that it possessed “every feature known to modern science for the expeditious and economical conduct of our immense business.”

By 1909, Richmond was the fifth largest distributor of shoes in the United States (only Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and Baltimore had greater numbers). By 1917, the value of the shoes produced in Richmond’s factories totaled $4,000,000 per year. A large portion of this total number was manufactured by the Putney Shoe Company. In 1917, Richmond’s greatest industries were tobacco (first), iron and steel (second), fertilizer (third), flour and food processing (fourth), and shoes and paper. (VDHR)

Local haberdasher, Harry Kollatz, has nice 2014 write-up (Shoes and Spice) for Richmond Magazine that speaks to the history of this industrial building, and its future.


rocket_werks_must_see

Must-See RVA! is a regular series
appearing on rocket werks – check it out!

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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.

Community

Arrest Made in Forest Hill Avenue Shooting

Still no details on motive.

Published

on

From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives have identified the victim in Thursday’s homicide on Forest Hill Avenue as Candace Gomness, 23, of Chesterfield.

At approximately 3:13 p.m., officers were called to the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue for the report of random gunfire. Officers arrived and located a vehicle on West 44th Street which had collided with a curb and stopped near the intersection with Forest Hill Avenue.

An adult male and an adult female, Gomness, two occupants of the vehicle, were both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital where Gomness succumbed to her injury. The male’s injury is not considered life threatening.

Miguel Rampersad, 20, of Richmond has been charged with Attempted Murder and Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Additional charges are pending.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Major Crimes detectives believe the shooting may have occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, near the intersection of Roanoke Street.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective B. Neifeld at (804) 646-3246 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Continue Reading

Community

Forest Hill Avenue Shooting Kills Woman and Injures Male

Very little information at this time on the tragic event.

Published

on

From RPD:

At approximately 3:13 p.m., (Thursday) officers were called to the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue for the report of random gunfire. Officers arrived and located a vehicle on West 44th Street which had collided with a curb and stopped near the intersection with Forest Hill Avenue.

An adult male and an adult female, two occupants of the vehicle, were both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital where the female succumbed to her injury. The male’s injury is not considered life threatening.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Major Crimes detectives believe the shooting may have occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, near the intersection of Roanoke Street.

Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective B. Neifeld at (804) 646-3246 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Continue Reading

Community

Reggae to Soothe Your Sunday Soul at Music in the Park

There will also be concerts in September and October.

Published

on

One of RVA’s best kept secrets in the wonderful world of Reggae sounds. MITP is proud to introduce you to Unity Sound Reggae Band. Classic, old-school Reggae is the template here. Perfect for a sultry August evening. This Sunday, Forest Hill Park at 6 PM and it’s free as always.

I don’t want to be a negative Nelly but the forecast is worth keeping an eye on. Follow Music in the Park on Facebook to keep up with any possible cancellations.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

Continue Reading