COVID-19 Pandemic

Shelter in Place until June 10: Governor Northam announcement today extends the "stay at home" mandate through the spring.

Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Carry sanitizer. Stay home or away from group events. Check on family, friends or neighbors who live alone. Stock up on food and necessities, but not at the expense of your neighbors. (The only reason there is a TP shortage is because people have bought far more than they need now)

Check the CDC website for national updates on the pandemic. The Virginia Department of Health site includes the Richmond Department of Health updates.

Facing hunger or homelessness? Download Homeward's Street Sheet for the Richmond Region. Visit for Street Sheets for the surrounding counties.

Call 211 or visit for regional human services information.


New study shows economic potential of a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park

A study of the economic ramifications of the community-generated proposal for a nine-acre Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park addresses some fundamental questions about the project: How much would it cost, and how would it benefit the city, especially its Black community?

The study, “Shockoe Bottom Memorialization: Community and Economic Impacts,” released this past October, was conducted by the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA). It’s the first part of a two-part study titled “A Future for Shockoe: A vision for equitable development,” a joint project between Preservation Virginia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project. The two-part study was funded by a $75,000 grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The study assumes a landscaped park that includes an interpretive center or museum. The models used in the study indicate the following economic impact:

For a one-time $8.7 million investment, memorial park visitor spending in the city would generate between $3.7 and 7.7 million in total economic activity in Richmond each year, supporting 43 to 85 jobs.
For a one-time $35.2 million investment, museum visitor spending on-site and in the city as a whole would generate a total of $28.4 million in economic activity each year, supporting a total of 316 jobs.

8.7 million dollars invested in the construction of the memorial park would result in an immediate, one-time economic impact of $11.5 million. Of that, $4.5 million would be labor costs in the form of 75 jobs and money spent on supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and entertainment in the Richmond area.

However, once built, the Memorial Park experience could result in tourism spending that ranges from $3.6 to 7.6 million dollars annually - spending on accommodations, parking, gas, meals, entertainment, and retail shopping.

This means that an $8.7 million dollar investment over 20 years could result in anywhere from $72 to $152 million in economic impact to the Richmond region. If you deduct 20 years of operating costs over that same period - $9.7 million - the net gain would be $ 62.3 to $142.3 million.

And that's just the memorial park. The study's models confirm that the addition of a $26.8 million museum or interpretive center would result in a short-term economic impact of $35.2 million in the region. Once built, factoring in annual operations costs of $3.1 million, the net benefit of total visitor spending annually would be $25.2 million, and over 20 years $504 million.

The second part of the study deals with models for equitable economic redevelopment - in other words, how the memorial park can be paid for and how it can benefit the Black community. We’ll cover that part in the next Defender. Meanwhile, both can be found at:

The Community Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park is an economical investment in the present and future of our city, and a demonstration of the value of making visible what has been invisible: the truth of Richmond's history that can at long last put into context the mountains climbed in the ongoing pursuit of a just society.


Ana Edwards chairs the Defenders’ Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project, which developed the community proposal for a nine-acre Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park.


Preservation Virginia's upcoming advocacy and preservation education schedule

Please join Preservation Virginia for our upcoming programs and events:

Legislative Reception

February 5, 2020
Hilton Downtown Richmond
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Our annual Legislative Reception will be held at the Hilton Downtown Richmond on February 5th. This is a free event and a good way to meet staff and General Assembly members, as well as others working in the fields of preservation and conservation. Registration is required. See:

Most Endangered Places List 

Applications due February 29, 2020

For almost 20 years, Preservation Virginia has compiled a list of endangered historic sites to advocate for their protection. Over the years the list has included buildings, archaeological sites, cemeteries and cultural landscapes that face imminent or sustained threats.

If you are aware of a historic site you would like to nominate for the list, please submit an application by February 29, 2020. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the sites listed in previous years. If you have questions, feel free to contact me or Lisa Bergstrom ( The nomination form can be found here.

John Marshall, the Supreme Court and the Trail of Tears

February 29, 2020
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture
10 a.m.-3 p.m.

In partnership with the Center for the Study of American Indian Law & Policy, Preservation Virginia will host a symposium to discuss the legacy of Supreme Court decisions under Chief Justice John Marshall and their impact on Native American sovereignty. To register:

2020 Conference Series

Three, one-day conferences will be offered this year:

  1. Preserving African American Historic Places, Friday, March 6 from 9 am - 3 pm at Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum in Alexandria, VA | Click here for details and to register.  SGHRP chair Ana Edwards will be a presenter at this conference. 
  2. Recording and Preserving African American Cemeteries, and 
  3. Historic Resources, Seal Level Rise and Flooding Adaptation Strategies.

Please check our website for more information and registration: