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Must-See RVA! — Morris Plan Bank Building

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

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July 2019

AKA, Bank of Virginia, Signet Bank, 8th & Main
800 East Main Street
Build, 1931
Architects, Hoggson Brothers
VDHR 127-6031

Woohoo! Loans with NO collateral!

[ADR] — building in 1981 before the trees covered the exterior ornament

[ADR] — building in 1981 before the trees covered the exterior ornament

The Bank of Virginia, formerly the Morris Plan Bank of Virginia, was built in 1931 by Hoggson Brothers at 800 East Main Street. This three-story, seven-bay wide, limestone-clad Beaux Arts-style bank has a rounded corner with a shallow stepped parapet at the northeast corner of 8th and Main Streets. The first-story is six bays wide with rusticated limestone blocks.

July 2019 — showing door detail

July 2019 — showing door detail

Colossal fluted Doric columns that extend the full height of the building delineate the entrance bay at the curved corner and support the building‟s entablature. The door is framed by an elaborate limestone surround with griffins and carved stone cresting. On the second story, there are six bays, of which the four center bays are recessed behind the colossal columns.

July 2019 — showing roundel

July 2019 — showing roundel

There is a roundel with a carved eagle above the second-story window in the left bay. On the third story, there are five bays, four of which are recessed behind the colossal columns.

(Valentine Museum) — Hotel Stumpf exterior — Cook Studios

(Valentine Museum) — Hotel Stumpf exterior — Cook Studios

The Morris Plan Bank of Virginia was constructed in 1931 at a cost of $280,000by the Hoggson Brothers, an architectural firm from New York City that was active between 1922 and 1935. The bank itself was originally located in the former lobby of Stumpf Hotel, which stood at the northwest corner of Eighth & Main until the new building was completed. (VDHR)

(National Portrait Gallery) — Arthur J. Morris — painted by David Berney, 1949

(National Portrait Gallery) — Arthur J. Morris — painted by David Berney, 1949

A Morris Plan bank was a type of bank first established in 1910 to lend money to individuals who couldn’t obtain loans from mainstream banks. Fidelity Savings & Trust Co. was the first Morris Plan bank; it was founded by Virginia lawyer Arthur Morris. By 1931, there were 109 Morris Plan banks operated via the Morris Plan Co. of America. However, that number declined after the economy recovered from the Great Depression and commercial banks began offering similar loans.

July 2019 — showing entryway rosette

July 2019 — showing entryway rosette

Morris Plan banks were notable for their unique lending strategy, which benefited poor and working-class borrowers. Morris Plan banks did not require collateral for loans, but instead considered the character and community standing of applicants by requiring an applicant to submit two references from peers of similar character and financial status. (Investopedia)

July 2019 — window railing detail

July 2019 — window railing detail

Sadly, the exterior is all that remains of the Hoggson Brothers’ classical goodness. By the time Architecture in Downtown Richmond was written, no significant interior remained. [ADR] It served as office space to Signet Bank and the Virginia Department of Social Services, and then stood vacant until 2016 when it was purchased by The Monument Companies, and converted into a new downtown apartment space, 8th & Main. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

(Morris Plan Bank Building is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [ADR] Architecture in Downtown Richmond. Robert Winthrop. 1982.

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

 

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Shootings on July 3rd and Early July 4th Result in a Death and Six Injuries

Two separate unrelated incidents occurred. One at City Dogs in the Fan and another near Cyber Café on Broad Street.

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West Main Street Death Investigation

Sunday, July 3, at approximately 10:26 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of random gunfire. RPD officers responded and located an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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

Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact

Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 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.

This RVA/Reddit thread has some unconfirmed details and first-hand reports on the City Dogs shooting.

Update July 5th:

Arrest Made, Victim Identified in West Main Street Homicide and Aggravated Assaults

The Richmond Police Department has charged the suspect in yesterday’s shootings on West Main Street. Derrick Adjei, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody by Virginia State Police last night at approximately 11:01 p.m. after the vehicle Adjei had been operating was involved in a single vehicle collision on northbound I-95.

RPD detectives, investigating the West Main Street shooting, have charged Adjei with malicious wounding. Other charges are pending. A booking photo of Adjei is not yet available.

Detectives have identified the victim of the shooting as Kyle Stoner, 36, of Richmond. Sunday at approximately 10:28 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of a shooting. RPD officers responded and located an adult male, Stoner, on a patio of a business, down and unresponsive suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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

An adult female and an adult male were also injured during the incident and have received treatment for injuries that were not considered life threatening.

Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 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.

West Broad Street Shooting

At approximately 3:39 a.m., Richmond Police officers responded to the report of random gunfire in the 00 block of West Broad Street. Six people were reported shot near the Cyber Café, an after-hours club including four adult males and two adult females.

Of the six who sustained gunshot wounds, two are considered life-threatening and four non-life threatening. One man was transported by ambulance, others were self-transported to the hospital for treatment.

There is no public threat at this time.

Anyone with information about this shooting investigation is asked to call Detective Reyes at (804) 646-3874 or contact 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.

 

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LaDiff Now Open on Southside

Sit down, we’ve got furniture news.

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LaDiff the hip furniture store left Shockoe Bottom for the sweet, sweet Southside. Now after 8 months their new location is open. They’re calling it an extremely soft opening so walls are still getting painted, product being placed, and outdoor furniture won’t be available until next spring.

You can get all the details on their website.

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Attention River Lovers Huguenot Flatwater Work Day on Saturday

The universal access ramp is done at Huguenot Flatwater but there is still some finishing touches that need to be made to the are.

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Message from James River Outdoor Coalition

Needs plans for your Saturday? Come help out your local park system at the JROC project! We need LOTS of hands to prep the grounds at Huguenot Flatwater for the opening of the new universal access ramp!

We’ll be digging out and painting parking blocks, clearing debris, and opening up the area around the ramp. There’s more work to be done at the Western Overlook if we have enough help.
Meet at 9:00AM this Sat. 6/18 at Huguenot Flatwater in the James River Park System.

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