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Must-See RVA! — Church of the Sacred Heart

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

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March 2020
  • 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.

[FAM] — Bishop James Gibbons

[FAM] — Bishop James Gibbons

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.

March 2020 — Ida Mary Barry Ryan, AKA Mrs. Thomas Fortune Ryan

March 2020 — Ida Mary Barry Ryan, AKA Mrs. Thomas Fortune Ryan

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]

(Find A Grave) — Thomas Fortune Ryan

(Find A Grave) — Thomas Fortune Ryan

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.

March 2020 — showing front elevation

March 2020 — showing front elevation

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.

March 2020 — showing arched fenestration

March 2020 — showing arched fenestration

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.

March 2020 — showing recessed brick panel

March 2020 — showing recessed brick panel

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.

March 2020 — showing eight-panel doors, fanlight and fronton

March 2020 — showing eight-panel doors, fanlight and fronton

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.

(Sacred Heart Catholic Church) — showing Roman arch and altars

(Sacred Heart Catholic Church) — showing Roman arch and altars

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.

(Sacred Heart Catholic Church) — showing rose window

(Sacred Heart Catholic Church) — showing rose window

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.

March 2020

March 2020

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)

March 2020 — showing twenty-panel door

March 2020 — showing twenty-panel door

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)


Print Sources

  • [FAM] Famous Living Americans. Edited, Mary Griffin Web & Edna Lenore Webb. 1915.
  • [OME] Old Manchester & its Environs, 1769 – 1910. Benjamin B. Weisinger III. 1993.

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RTD has the History of Nickel aka Boulevard Bridge

Learn more about our favorite bridge (that we can use) across the James. Mayo is a close second for those keeping track.

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Living only a few blocks from the historic bridge means it has a special spot in my heart. I’ve crossed it countless times both on foot and in the car. I’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, kayaks, rafts, inner tubes, and a fair share of questionable driving. With it be such a prominent part of my life it was fascinating to get more details on the bridge from RTD.

They’ve provided a nice timeline and photos. My favorite bit of new information:

Jan. 5, 1925 — Thousands of motorists availed themselves of the decided moderation in temperature, combined with the fact that yesterday was the last day that motorists and others were allowed to cross the structure free of toll charges, and “tried out” the Boulevard Bridge.

Hundreds of automobiles, from the flivver to the more pretentious high-powered car, crossed the bridge during the day. At times there were so many of the gasoline-propelled cars on the structure that progress was made only at a snail’s pace.

An attache of the Boulevard Bridge Corp. essayed to keep a tally of the cars crossing the structure and succeeded fairly well until he had counted 5,000. At that juncture, however, they were coming so fast and so thickly that he got lost in the mathematical jungle and gave up in despair.

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NBC12 on Pony Pasture Parking Woes

Although the focus of the story is on Pony Pasture other areas are being impacted by heavy park usage.

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NBC 12 has the story on the parking issues in our parks.

”It has been a lot more people this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the coronavirus. I’m sure there’s probably a lot of pools that are not open, or whatnot, and no places for people to go,” said Susan, a Stratford Hills resident who lives close to Pony Pasture.

According to the city’s Office of Parks and Recreation, the number of visitors to Pony Pasture in the month of June 2020 alone was over 44,000. They add that as of June 30, 2020, the James Rivers Park System had seen 1,076,873 visitors whereas on the same date in 2019 – there were 975,433 visitors.

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Hills & Heights

Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Win Home Opener

Kickers get their first win in the 2020 USL 1 season.

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The Kickers took an early one-goal lead and had a strong first half. The second half saw Madison press hard. The last few minutes were nail-biting with several scrambles in front of the Richmond goal but in the end, the home team prevailed and kept their one-goal leading shutting out the visitors. Full Recap after the photos.


Official Kickers Summary

The Richmond Kickers (1-1-1) picked up their first victory of the 2020 USL League One season Saturday night at City Stadium, behind a 1-0 win over Forward Madison FC (0-2-1). Emiliano Terzaghi scored his second goal of the season, coupled with Akira Fitzgerald picking up his second straight shutout to lead the team to the three points.

Richmond jumped out in front after nine minutes. Kyle Venter sent the ball out wide on the right wing for Ian Antley. He found Emiliano Terzaghi at the top of the Madison box. The Argentine turned and took a touch for space and launched a shot across the face of goal and into the back of the net for the early lead.

Akira Fitzgerald kept Madison off the board in the 33rd minute. Coming out of the hydration break, Christian Diaz floated the ball over the top for Jamael Cox making a run up the left flank. Fitzgerald came off his line as Cox tried to slide his shot under the keeper, but the veteran stopper got a foot on the ball to parry it away.

Deep into first half stoppage, Cox had a chance to level the score. Diaz tried to square a pass to JC Banks, but the midfielder lost his footing and the ball rolled into space. Cox got the ball first and looked for goal as his shot sailed harmlessly over the net.

Luke Pavone, making his first start of the season, nearly doubled the Richmond lead in the 54th minute. Fitzgerald got the play started clearing the ball up field. Pavone headed the ball down for Ryley Kraft, who quickly got it to the feet of Terzaghi. He did not waste a second lofting the ball over the top for Pavone getting in behind the backline.

The post came to the rescue for Forward Madison in the 63rd minute. Kraft looked up to see Matt Bolduc in  plenty of open real estate just outside the 18. After controlling the ball, he put a solid chance on frame, unfortunately bouncing off the woodwork. Terzaghi tried to follow up on the loose ball but he could not control his shot.

Scott Thomsen made a last ditch save off the line to preserve the shutout for Richmond. JC Banks served in a corner kick. Akira Fitzgerald came off his line to punch the ball away, but it fell for former Kickers midfielder Brandon Eaton. He wasted no time trying to find the equalizer. Thomsen got a foot on the shot to save the clean sheet, marking the second one in a row for Richmond.

The Kickers conclude their two match homestand next Saturday night as FC Tucson comes to City Stadium for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com/Tickets.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.
BOX SCORE
TEAM FIRST HALF SECOND HALF FINAL
Richmond 1 0 1
Madison 0 0 0
LINEUPS
Richmond GK Akira Fitzgerald, Ian Antley, Kyle Venter, Ivan Magalhães, Scott Thomsen, Victor Falck, Ryley Kraft, Emiliano Terzaghi, Jonathan Bolanos (59’ – Mutaya Mwape), Matt Bolduc (70’ – Zev Taublieb, 76’ – Gianluca Cuomo), Luke Pavone
Unused Substitutes: Lee Johnston, Greg Boehme, Charles Boateng, Amass Amankona

Madison GK Philipp Marceta, Christian Diaz (81’ – Eli Lockaby), Conor Tobin, Josiah Trimmingham (81’ – Eric Leonard), Jiro Barriga Toyama (86’ – Gustavo Fernandes), JC Banks, Allan Rodriguez (62’ – Brandon Eaton), Don Smart, Paulo Jr, Jamael Cox (62’ – Alex Monis), Wojciech Wojcik

Unused Substitutes: Chris Brady, Louis Bennett

STATISTICS

TEAM SHOTS SAVES FOULS CORNERS
Richmond 8 0 12 3
Madison 7 1 10 7
SCORING SUMMARY
MIN TEAM PLAYER
9′ RIC Emiliano Terzaghi (Ian Antley)
CAUTIONS SUMMARY
MIN TEAM PLAYER
16′ MAD Josiah Trimmingham
73′ MAD Wojciech Wojcik
EJECTIONS SUMMARY
MIN TEAM PLAYER
None.

MATCH INFORMATION

Referee: Matt Franz
Assistant Referees: Meghan Mullen, Andrew Charron
Fourth Official: JC Griggs
Attendance: 822
Weather: Mostly Sunny, 81 ºF

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