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RVA Legends — Mozart Academy of Music

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

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AKA, Academy of Music
103 – 107 North Eighth Street
Built, 1884 (1886?)
Remodeled, 1899
Burned, 1925

Someone call the Fire Marshall!

[RVCJ93] — original interior

It would seem from the numerous membership of the various societies devoted to music at Richmond that the name of the votaries of the Heavenly Maid here is, literally, legion. On the roll of the Mozart Musical Association are 1,000 names; and this list is not, as in some cities of the country, largely representative of the residents of foreign birth and extraction, but rather of the native.

(Encyclopedia Virginia) — Dr. James B. McCaw

The monthly concerts of this Association are a characteristic feature of the social life of the city. They are held in the Mozart Academy of Music, a theater owned by the Association, but leased from it, and under another management for dramatic representations, that cost the Society $45,000 to build. Dr. J. B. McCaw, a prominent physician of the city, is president of the Mozart Association; Jacob Reinhardt its director; and leading business men are its trustees.

[RVCJ03] — after 1899 remodeling — note the addition of the box office at center and the removal of “Mozart” from the parapet

The Mozart Academy of Music, situated at Eighth and Franklin streets, is the principal theater of the city. It is, comparatively, a new house, is handsomely furnished, and is appointed for stage purposes in modern fashion. It seats 1,600, and at a pinch will accommodate. 3,000.

[RVCJ03] — Thomas G. Leath — lessee & manager of the remodeled theater

Plays requiring 500 persons can be put on in it. Under its present management, that of Mr. Edward Hamilton Cahill, lessee, the very best shows on the road are presented in it. He has made it successful, where those who had it before him failed.

[COC] — sometime between 1908 & theater’s burning in 1925 — note the removal of the box office and the addition of the illuminated sign

The entire booking of the Mozart will be taken in hand by Jefferson, Klaw A Erlanger under the designation, “directors of the circuit,” with Mr. Cahill as lessee and manager here. In order to improve the house for the class of shows to be presented, extensive alterations and repairs are to be made. These alterations will cost some $10,000, and when they are completed Richmond will have a theater the equal in every respect of any in the land. [RVCJ93]

May 2018

Maybe Rocket Werks is overthinking this, but being able to increase capacity from 1600 to 3000 people sounds like a fire hazard. Perhaps they had forgotten about the tragic theater fire of 1811 that led to the building of Monumental Church? Sometimes memory is too short.

In any event, when the Academy of Music burned in 1925, it made way for the expansion of the former Federal Reserve Building.

Urban Scale has a nice article that speaks at length about this forgotten theater, part of a much larger series about the history of theatrical performance in Richmond. Well worth checking out. They also identify the 1886 construction date, as opposed to 1884, supplied by A Century of Commerce.

(Mozart Academy of Music is part of the Atlas RVA Project)


Sources

  • [COC] A Century of Commerce, 1867-1967. James K. Sanford. 1967.
  • [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.
  • [RVCJ03] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1903.

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Downtown

Children’s Hospital Foundation launches $100 million capital campaign for new “Wonder Tower”

Last week, the Children’s Hospital Foundation launched the public fundraising phase of its Built for Kids capital campaign, with a goal of raising $100 million from the community to support the construction of a new inpatient and emergency tower at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, affectionately known as the Wonder Tower.

RVAHub Staff

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Last week, the Children’s Hospital Foundation launched the public fundraising phase of its Built for Kids capital campaign, with a goal of raising $100 million from the community to support the construction of a new inpatient and emergency tower at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, affectionately known as the Wonder Tower.

As part of the public fundraising launch, Children’s Hospital Foundation launched a creative campaign throughout Central Virginia designed to raise awareness of the new hospital and inspire donations from the community, corporations and individuals.

Once complete, the Wonder Tower will be the culmination of years of planning to bring world-class pediatric facilities to Central Virginia. Located in downtown Richmond, the 16-story tower will be home to CHoR’s Level 1 pediatric trauma center, emergency room, inpatient units, new operating rooms, increased imaging capacity and family amenities —all in an environment created just for kids and families. The facility features free, convenient parking, all private patient rooms and kid-friendly design and architectural elements. Connected to CHoR’s outpatient Children’s Pavilion, the facility completes an entire city block dedicated to caring for kids.

“A hospital environment just for kids and families has been our community’s vision for many years, and it’s becoming a reality as we complete an entire city block dedicated to pediatric care – all under one roof,”  said Elias Neujahr, CEO of CHoR. “The Wonder Tower will be a place where every child in our growing community has a chance to heal, recover and celebrate their super powers. It will be a place where our nationally ranked care, innovative research and top-tier education programs come together to provide the best patient experience for kids and families.”

Reflecting the wonder of the new hospital, the creative campaign was concepted and designed by Markham & Stein, a Miami-based agency, along with Richmond-based Brand Federation, which handled research, brand and messaging work. At this stage, the “Built for Kids” campaign visually highlights the look of the new facility, while the messaging emphasizes the need to “defend childhood” and protect the most vulnerable among us – children.

“People understand and connect with the idea that childhood must be protected as it’s critical to a child’s development and vital for so many reasons,” said Lauren Moore, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The Wonder Tower is a place where children will receive world-class medical care close to home, and while they’re there, we’ll do everything possible to keep the spirit of childhood all around them.”

Children’s Hospital Foundation is currently running a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign to encourage the community to maximize their impact by 100% by taking advantage of the Foundation match commitment. To date, the Foundation has raised more than one-third of its $100 million fundraising goal.

CHoR is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary year treating all children in need of care. In June 2019, CHoR broke ground on the new inpatient tower adjacent to the current outpatient Children’s Pavilion, which when completed will create a free-standing, full-service children’s hospital on East Marshall Street between 10th and 11th streets. Construction is expected to be complete in 2023.

To follow along with the progress of the Built for Kids capital campaign or give to the Wonder Tower, visit builtforkids.org.

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Business

The Richmond Night Market launches holiday villages across the city to celebrate the season

The Holiday Villages are a multicultural holiday market shopping experience that will feature local goods, art, food, music, and the best of Richmond culture.

RVAHub Staff

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The Richmond Night Market, in partnership with the City of Richmond, Office of Economic Development, Flying Squirrels, Brok Productions, and media partner, Richmond Magazine, announced it will open five Holiday Villages across the city this holiday season to celebrate the Richmond community and its resilience. The open-air markets will be open every Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m. beginning November 28 to December 19. Vendors are encouraged to apply.

“Richmond is an amazing city and we want to make sure folks don’t forget about that, especially during these challenging times,” said Melody Joy Short, co-founder of Richmond Night Market. “We are a village and it’s important that we continue to support each other, especially our artisan and small business community. Let’s spread some holiday cheer, celebrate each other, and do our part to uplift the local economy.”

The Holiday Villages are a multicultural holiday market shopping experience that will feature local goods, art, food, music, and the best of Richmond culture. The open-air markets are spread across several locations to encourage social distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19, with strict COVID-19 measures in place supported by the City of Richmond. Plus, attendees will have an opportunity to explore different neighborhoods including Manchester, Scott’s Addition, the Arts District, Jackson Ward, and Shockoe Bottom.

“Every neighborhood has its own vibe and flavor,” said Adrienne Cole Johnson, co-founder of Richmond Night Market. “The food, shopping experience, retailers and services are all unique to each part of the city and we want to recreate that with our Holiday Villages. We want people to shop and buy local, as well as showcase all of the gems in the city.”

“Artists and small businesses across the board should sign up to become a vendor,” Cole Johnson added.

The Richmond Night Market launched in April 2019 as a monthly gathering at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market in Shockoe Bottom as a way for locals and tourists to shop for clothing, jewelry, visual art, organic products and even artisanal food. Event organizers shifted their approach during the pandemic, launching a successful virtual experience that allowed patrons to engage with independent, small businesses in a new way on social media.

“We see our Holiday Villages as an extension of what we’ve been doing all year,” said Short. “Most, if not all businesses, have experienced some disruption and we want to ensure there is true recovery. Our efforts have increased sales by 40 percent for many artists. With the holiday season around the corner, our aim is to keep creating these opportunities to generate revenue and uplift this community.”

Patrons will be able to start their shopping experience on Small Business Saturday (November 28) and explore all of the Holiday Villages through Saturday, December 19. Those interested in becoming a vendor can apply at www.richmondnightmarketva.com.

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Community

New Law Prohibits Open Carry, Law not Enforced Last Night when Boogaloo Boys Show Up Last Night

To amend and reordain City Code 19-334.1, which prohibits the carrying of firearms within certain places, to modify the nature and extent of the firearms and prohibited places subject to inclusion as permitted by Va. Code 15.2-915.

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Infowars’ Owen Shroyer made a quick stop in Richmond last night so that Trump supporters, militia and boogaloo activists, and BLM counter-protesters could wave their various flags. The police were on hand to keep the two sides separate and @FordFisher on Twitter has a thread of how the evening went down.

Interestingly a new ordinance prohibiting open carry at protests did not seem to be enforced. The law was passed in September and prohibits the carrying of guns at public events such as protests, whether the gatherings are permitted or not, and also will apply to nearby public areas such as sidewalks and roadways. Violators could face a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500 dollars.

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