One of the most common arguments I hear opponents of Mayor Jones' redevelopment plan for Shockoe Bottom is that it will result in the destruction of priceless historic buildings. Nothing could be further from the truth. This argument is just another red herring put forward by people who oppose the mayor's plan and aren't too particular about the facts. I live in the Shockoe area of the city and I have walked--and photographed--the footprint of the mayor's proposed development project for Shockoe Bottom. I found no historic buildings.
I borrowed the map at the top of this post from the LovingRVA website. It shows the footprint of the proposed development. I found that there are four buildings in the footprint of the project that will have to be removed.
|The old Loving's Produce warehouse at the corner of Grace and Ambler Streets, empty since 2007.|
|Vacant, derelict store front at 126 North 18th Street.|
|The old Weiman's Bakery at 164 North 17th Street, closed since February 2013.|
|Public bathrooms and enRichmond office at 100 North 17th Street.|
That's it. Those are the buildings that would be torn down to make room for redevelopment in Shockoe Bottom. Indeed, it is not inconceivable that the Loving's Building could be saved and incorporated into the new development, assuming the building's structure is still sound. The other three buildings in the proposed project's footprint have zero value in historic and architectural terms. The next time someone tells you that Dwight Jones' redevelopment plan for Shockoe Bottom is "going to destroy historic buildings," just let them know that you know that argument is a red herring.