12/18/23

What's Happening with the Memorial Park?

First, there's the current and future racial and social justice part:


Who will benefit? 
We propose that a dedicated percentage of the increased profits from the construction and operation of The Shockoe Project be earmarked for 1) Richmond Public Schools infrastructure repair, replacement and maintenance and 2) to truly affordable, high quality housing in the city. In addition, we call on the city to commit to hiring as many Black-owned contractors and sub-contractors as possible at every level of design and development, and that once established an equal commitment will be applied to the hiring of Black-owned professionals for the operations of all elements of the Shockoe Project. 

Who has authority? We propose (and have since the first iteration of the Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park) that a Descendant Community body be formed that is 1) built into the governing structure of the Memorial Park/Campus to ensure the concerns, vision and priorities of the Descendant Community are present and weighted equally, and has 2) equal decision-making authority to the Board of Directors or Trustees to ensure that decisions made will always stay in tune with the priorities of the descendant community. 


And there's the physical development of the project...

The master planning, design and community engagement is being handled by city contractor, Baskervill (architects and engineers) and is currently called The Shockoe Project. The drawing below represents the concepts for each of the areas that make up the memorial park (heritage campus) footprint. The Shockoe Project includes Visitors/Welcome Center, Museum, African Burial Ground, Devil's Half Acre, as well as the land and structures in or planned for the footprint. 

Click on the image for a downloadable file.

Other projects "wrapped into" the master planning tasks for Baskervill: Memorial for the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground and the Emily Winfree Cottage Relocation and Renovation. 

The Shockoe Bottom Small Area Plan was approved by Richmond City Council and is now part of the city's Richmond300 Strategic Plan. This document articulates planning themes and priorities and centers on the zoning laws that allow or prevent development activities of various kinds. The plan notably includes the new "destination zoning" for the ten acre Shockoe Project area. 

Projects for the improvement of streets, highways and railway services are also underway and decisions being made now will impact the Shockoe Bottom AND Shockoe Hill African Burial Grounds. Only by staying aware and providing feedback can we stop current damage or prevent future harm. Here are three:

  1. https://shockoevalleystreets.com/
  2. https://vapassengerrailauthority.org/resources/dc2rva/
  3. https://i64widening.org/