The first draft of the Small Area Plan for Shockoe Bottom is available for viewing and comment!
As a long-time supporter, you know that Shockoe Bottom is an area of tremendous historical significance. In 2014, Preservation Virginia listed the area as one of Virginia’s Most Endangered Historic Places and nominated it to the National Trust’s America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places to raise awareness of both the threats and the opportunities to preserve and honor this nationally significant site.
Thanks to the diligence of the volunteer Shockoe Alliance task force and city staff, the draft plan includes the Memorial Park conceived through earlier community-generated visioning in addition to opportunities for equitable and mixed use development in this, the oldest area of Richmond.
Key points for your consideration:
Support the Heritage Campus: Through the outstanding advocacy of Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project and additional partners, a memorial campus is a central feature of the draft plan and includes preservation of the African Burying Grounds as well as a memorial park and museum to acknowledge and interpret the painful history of enslavement and the resiliency to overcome. Commend the city for establishing this priority.
Support Initiatives and Policies that Protect Historic Character: Shockoe’s rich and complex history is embodied in its archaeological footprint, street grid and remaining historic fabric. New development and the existing older buildings don’t have to be at odds- but new development must not be on a scale that overwhelms the character of the area. Encourage the city to develop policies to guide development and protect historic resources. Designation of a City Old and Historic District and adopting archaeology and demolition ordinances in 2022/2023 are essential.
Support Greenspace and Walkability of the Area: The Small Area Plan places an emphasis on maintaining the historic street grid and using the floodway and floodplain to create green spaces and the Memorial Park.
Interested in additional items in the draft plan? Check with our partners at Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project and Partnership for Smarter Growth.
Please comment today. You can add your comments directly into the Konveio document, complete a survey document or attend a community meeting. Comments are due by August 17, 2021.
Make your voice heard to help ensure that Shockoe Bottom’s history is at the center of its future.
Elizabeth S. Kostelny