August 23, 2012. In 1737, William Byrd II looked out over the James River into the surrounding woodlands and declared that he was reminded of his home upon the Thames, Richmond Hill, England. It was from this site that our Capital city was born and so named. And it is now under threat. A project under consideration would erect high rise buildings along the banks of our iconic river, removing the historic view that gave the city of Richmond its name.
The word “iconic” is important here. Richmond has long been tied to its river, from both an economic and an emotional standpoint. While the city was once prosperous due to the trade that the James River brought, the river has seen a rebirth as an asset to be exploited for recreation and pleasure. That is why Richmonders were quick to jump, and a national publication quick to name, Richmond the best River Town in America. And it is why the American Society of Landscape Architects named the Libby Hill overlook one of America’s most iconic landscapes. It is a view that created history. It is also why Preservation Virginia named it one of our Commonwealth’s most endangered historic sites.
We stand opposed to this planned development and in favor of preserving this historic vista. That is why we have partnered with Lord Alan Watson and the Father Thames Trust to initiate the Richmonds Medal, symbolically linking our two historic rivers, towns, and histories. We have been actively engaging the Richmond City Council, and knocking on doors around our State Capital, advocating, educating, and informing our legislators about the need for this preservation.
If you would like to be a part of this campaign, contact us. We encourage your support.