[VIDEO] Why Shockoe Bottom is Relevant Today

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Spotlight_SB_blog

Between 1830 and 1865, Richmond, Virginia's Shockoe Bottom was the second-busiest hub of the American slave trade. The creek bottom that now sits near I-95 hosted auction houses, offices, and slave jails. Solomon Northup, whose memoir inspired the 2013 Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, was held in Shockoe Bottom in 1841.

Since then, much of what was Shockoe Bottom has been lost to time, but the site still stands as a reminder of the suffering and injustice that took place there. It is also a symbol of endurance and resistance.

Today, the site is also threatened by the proposed construction of a minor league baseball stadium and other development.

In September 2014, the National Trust and Preservation Virginia convened local leaders and historians at President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington to discuss the future of Shockoe Bottom. They were asked why Shockoe Bottom is still relevant today, and what they would like to tell the mayor of Richmond about the development plans for the site. Here is what they said.

... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

[VIDEO] Why Shockoe Bottom Matters

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Spotlight_SB_blog

Between 1830 and 1865, the slave trade of Richmond, Virginia's Shockoe Bottom was second in importance only to that of New Orleans. Auction houses, offices, and slave jails, like the one that held Solomon Northup, whose memoir was the basis for the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, were scattered across a creek bottom that flowed to the James River.

Much of the site has been lost to time, but the place remains a reminder of the suffering and injustice that took place there. It also stands as a symbol of endurance and resistance.

But beyond the passage of time, the site is also threatened by the proposed construction of a minor league baseball stadium and other development.

In September 2014, the National Trust and Preservation Virginia convened local leaders and historians at President Lincoln's Cottage in Washington to discuss the future of Shockoe Bottom. They were asked why Shockoe Bottom matters to them, and how they would like to see the site used. Here is what they said.

... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Historic Places as Sites of Conscience: Shockoe Bottom’s Potential to Change Society

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 5 Comments

 

Spotlight_SB_blog

By Rob Nieweg, Field Director, and Brent Leggs, Senior Field Officer

150119_blog_photo_shockoe-vision-meeting
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Virginia convened local leaders and historians at a retreat to weigh in on why Shockoe Bottom matters as a Site of Conscience.

On the third Monday of each January, Americans are called to reflect on the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. On this national day of service, we also are encouraged by President Obama to take action to make our nation a better place to live.

The stewards of historic places take action, of course, to document and conserve evidence of the past. They inform and engage visitors, and preserve our shared heritage for future generations. At their best, however, the historic places we work so hard to protect -- places like the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Dr. King’s birthplace, and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis -- can serve as Sites of Conscience that raise hard questions, spark discussion of contemporary social problems, and inspire us to change society for the better.

Now, we are focusing on another historic and equally worthy place to join the ranks of these nationally significant Sites of Conscience: Shockoe Bottom.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Historic Real Estate: Greek Revival Edition

Posted on: January 16th, 2015 by Jamesha Gibson 1 Comment

 

150115_blog-photo_benachi-house-greek-revival
Benachi House and Gardens was featured on the television series "Orleans" and "The Big Easy."

Benachi House and Gardens -- New Orleans, Louisiana

The Benachi House is set on the historic Bayou Road in a picturesque scene surrounded by oaks, sycamores, palm, and magnolia trees. Nicholas M. Benachi, Consul of Greece in New Orleans and lucrative businessman, built the house in 1848 in the Greek Revival style as evidenced by its bold symmetry, Greek Key doorways, and banded cornice moldings. The house has nine bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a carriage house, and a lot that holds parking for seven. The Benachi House was featured on Episodes of “Orleans” and “The Big Easy” and continues to be considered for possible film locations. Damages sustained by the house during hurricane Katrina have been completely repaired. Price: $3.995 million... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

 

What's more fun than a historic bar? A historic bar with a theme! And that's exactly what we're featuring in our next installment of historic bars -- establishments with kitschy, unusual, and unique calling cards. Next up: Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge in San Luis Obispo.

The Madonna Inn opened in 1958 and features 110 rooms, each with a different theme.
The Madonna Inn opened in 1958 and features 110 rooms, each with a different theme.

If you want to see the world through rose-colored glasses, just grab a drink at the Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge.

Walk across the pink floral carpet and grab a seat on a tufted pink bar stool. Or collapse into a plush pink armchair. Order yourself a signature Pink Cloud cocktail.

With its perfect blend of kitsch and elegance, Silver Bar offers some of the best seats in the house at the whimsical -- and yes, pink -- Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

A Letter from Lupita: Why Shockoe Bottom Deserves — and Demands — Protection

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 4 Comments

 

Spotlight_SB_blog

Written by Erica Stewart, Manager, Public Affairs

Shockoe Bottom in downtown Richmond, Virginia, was once the second-largest slave trading site in the country. Today, it is mostly a patchwork of vacant lots and surface parking.

This is no way to treat the land on which men, women and children were bought, sold, and tortured. Neither is building a major league ballpark upon it, which is exactly what Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones is proposing in his “Revitalize RVA” plan.

This threat prompted us to list Shockoe Bottom to 2014’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and also to name it to our portfolio of National Treasures. We are now working with Preservation Virginia, local leaders, and national experts to shape an alternative development plan that would excavate the archeological remains that lie beneath the ballpark site and uplift Shockoe Bottom as a place for reflection, healing, and learning. (Read more about the project in this previous post.)

150115_blog_photo_shockoe-lupita

Our work caught the attention of actress Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Patsey in the film “12 Years a Slave,” based on the memoir of free man-turned-slave Solomon Northrup. She was moved to write a passionate hand-written letter to the mayor, expressing her desire to see Shockoe Bottom preserved as a site of conscience. Here’s what she had to say.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.