The 230-year-old McGuire Cottage, one of Northside’s oldest homes, is no longer standing due to what its owner, Union Presbyterian Seminary, claims is “repentance” for the benefit the seminary received from the labor of enslaved persons. The house was once home to a Confederate surgeon – also cited as a reason for demolition – though the seminary says it has no plans for the tract of land on which the house stood.
Critics say the home had a great historic significance and calls to preserve the home by moving it were met with complaints that using staff resources to research grants for such a move would be “prohibitive.” Several publications say the demolition will also pave the way for additional development on the property.
While recognition of the wrongs of our nation is warranted, one wonders if half of Richmond wouldn’t be flattened by the seminary’s logic of demolishing structures tied to those who were on the wrong side of history.
From Richmond BizSense:
One of the oldest homes in Northside is no more.
The 1800s-era Westwood house, also known as McGuire Cottage, was demolished this week at the behest of Union Presbyterian Seminary.
It owns the so-called Westwood Tract where the structure had stood for two centuries — dwarfed in recent years by the newly built Canopy at Ginter Park apartments.
Seminary spokesman Mike Frontiero said its board of trustees voted last year to demolish the structure, originally the home of Confederate surgeon Hunter Holmes McGuire, “as recognition of and in repentance for the resourcing provided to the seminary through the labor of enslaved persons.”
New Valentine Museum exhibit “Breathing Places” tells the story of Richmond’s carefully crafted greenspaces
The Valentine’s newest exhibition Breathing Places: Park & Recreation in Richmond opens at the museum on May 5th and explores the design, use, and evolution of Richmond’s many parks, recreation areas, and natural spaces.
The Valentine’s newest exhibition Breathing Places: Park & Recreation in Richmond opens at the museum on May 5th and explores the design, use, and evolution of Richmond’s many parks, recreation areas, and natural spaces. Over the last 170 years, the region has developed and maintained these greenspaces for some residents while limiting and denying access to others. The new exhibition will explore this complex story while providing a window into the ongoing effects on residents today.
“Breathing Places both celebrates and critically examines a central part of community life,” said Christina K. Vida, the Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections. “As spring approaches and Richmonders with access take to their local parks, fields and yards, it’s the perfect time to explore the histories of those important spaces.”
The exhibition’s title comes from an 1851 recommendation by Richmond’s Committee on Public Squares, which advised “securing breathing places in the midst of the city or convenient to it.” This recommendation would have dramatic (and disproportionate) impacts on Richmonders.
The debut of Breathing Places comes on the heels of the Valentine welcoming visitors back to the museum with new outdoor programming, spring and summer events and more.
“As residents and visitors alike begin to return downtown to enjoy many of the greenspaces they’ve missed for over a year, now is the ideal time to open this exhibition,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “Breathing Places is not only an opportunity to fully explore the history of parks and recreation, but to inspire visitors to experience these spaces for themselves while considering how we can improve community access going forward.”
Breathing Places will also include a slideshow of rotating images featuring community-submitted photos. Richmonders (both individuals and organizations) can submit images of themselves, their families or their friends enjoying greenspaces across the region.
Breathing Places: Parks & Recreation in Richmond will be on display on the Lower Level of the Valentine from May 5, 2021 through January 30, 2022.
Great Depression brought to life through interactive photo collection now available through UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab
Photogrammar is an open-access, web-based tool that allows users to easily navigate and engage with 170,000 photographs taken between 1935-1943.
some of the most iconic images of the era by photographers like Dorothea Langea and Walker Evans as well as others rarely seen before,” said Lauren Tilton,
award-winningimmigration and federal urban policy to slavery and electoral politics, American Panorama data-rich, interactive mapping projects that are a go-to resource for journalists, policymakers, educators, and citizens alike.
Valentine and Community Foundation announce 2021 Richmond History Makers
The 16th Annual Richmond History Makers and Community Update on March 9 will celebrate these hometown heroes and provide an update on the region’s resiliency during a challenging year.
Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam announced the six honorees in the 2021 class of Richmond History Makers yesterday morning during a Facebook Live event.
The 16th Annual Richmond History Makers and Community Update on March 9 will celebrate these hometown heroes and provide an update on the region’s resiliency during a challenging year. The event will take place virtually and will be free, with the Valentine and the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond joining forces to recognize and celebrate these trailblazers. Long-time Richmond History Makers partner Dominion Energy is returning as the title sponsor.
According to six categories, the 2021 Richmond History Makers are:
Creating Quality Educational Opportunities:
Virginia STEM Coordinator
Demonstrating Innovative Economic Solutions:
Floyd E. Miller II
President & CEO
Metropolitan Business League
Improving Regional Transportation:
Lloyd “Bud” Vye
Biking and pedestrian advocate
Championing Social Justice:
Advocacy and Engagement Manager
Voices for Virginia’s Children
Promoting Community Health:
Advancing our Quality of Life:
Muralist and community advocate
“The life-changing work that we have seen take place across the Richmond Region this year is unlike any other,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “These individuals and organizations stepped up in the face of so many challenging circumstances, and they deserve an evening to be celebrated in front of their community!”
The Community Foundation for a greater Richmond is also returning as one of this event’s co-sponsors.
“Throughout 2020 and into 2021, we have certainly seen so many people rise to the occasion and address some of the most pressing needs of the Richmond Region,” said Community Foundation Chief Community Engagement Officer Scott Blackwell. “These honorees have really helped get Richmond through a difficult time, and their work is not always recognized or celebrated. We’re thrilled to highlight their contributions and share good news.”
Leadership Metro Richmond, a long-time partner in this program, helped to oversee the virtual Selection Committee, which narrowed down the six honorees from more than 135 nominations.
“With so many nominations, it’s clear the community was ready to recognize those going above and beyond to make a difference, especially during such difficult times,” said LMR President & CEO Myra Goodman Smith. “This year’s honorees deserve to be celebrated, and we look forward to lending our voice to the virtual crowd in March.”
You can register for a free ticket and learn more here.