Category Archives: Local Richmond

The Stonewall Court of Richmond, VA – A Brief History

At the declaration of World War II in 1941, the nation was put on alert for protection against foreign invasion. Over the entire country, from the East to the West Coasts, groups were formed for the safety and protection of people in all communities. Men and women were selected from each neighborhood to form a Civil Defense Patrol.

In the “Court”, it was decided a meeting place had to be established, a location where the Patrol could hold gatherings and store equipment. As it turns out, one of my former listings, the dwelling known as 345 Lexington Road, was chosen for this task. It was selected because it had a basement and was one of the few places that could be entered from the outside, without going through the house.

Shelves and racks were installed in the basement to hold steel helmets, special flashlights, stretchers, splints, and other first-aid equipment needed for emergencies. Like most communities during that time, thick black shades covered all the windows and doors of homes on the Court.

When the sirens wailed in the night, Wardens reported immediately to the designated meeting place and pick up their helmets and lights. Streets were patrolled with vigilance to insure that no light was visible from any building and to verify that everyone was off the street.

 The wardens stayed at their posts until the “all clear” signal was given. Then they returned to headquarters to replace the equipment (and perhaps more than not to socialize).  As World War II ended with a community drawn more closely together by a common interest, it was decided by the group that they should remain together, meeting in the same place, but calling themselves the Stonewall Court Civic Association.

The purpose of the new association was to further community interest in civic affairs and to encourage friendly relationships and interaction between all families living on the Court. Voluntary participation in the Association is one of the fundamental essentials that enable the residents of this neighborhood to be so connected to this day.

As a result, the people who have come to live in Stonewall Court continue to pick up the torch by carrying on the ideals and sprit of the Air Raid Wardens of 1941. This is a vibrant neighborhood with a close, caring community; it is one of many in the area I am happy to represent!

 

[Information provided through the Stonewall Court Civic Association]

What about Real Estate Stats

Have you seen any home statistics lately?  Do you find this information to be invigorating or exhausting? Do these numbers excite you enough to think about buying or selling a home, or do they entice you to plug your ears and block out the market banter? There is an excess of information out there, so what should you believe, who should you listen to, and what should you do?

We as real estate professionals are in the business of evaluating real property every day. The overall message we receive is positive, and it is part of our job to relay this good information to you the consumer. I can point to dozens of stats and market analysis that should easily convince most people of the improving market conditions, as well as the unarguable fact that interest rates remain so low that this may be the best opportunity to own a home EVER. But listen to the national media and it doesn’t mean a thing if consumer confidence in the market is down.

Fortunately, Richmond Virginia fairs better than the national housing market. In general, we enjoy a good housing industry. While there are many homes that sit on the market, there are many more that sell immediately – and yes, some with multiple offers.  We know these are challenging times for buyers and sellers because there is so much uncertainty about what is the best decision for each of us.

We can tell you that the housing market will continue to improve and that interest rates will go up; we wish we could be specific about exactly when to expect this to happen. In the mean time, we will advise you to listen to your personal needs, contact your trusted housing advisor, and have them discuss with you the current market trends as it relates to your specific situation. Well informed consumers are empowered to make smart decisions, and real estate is no exception.

Richmond’s Small Town Charm Offers Hope & Optimism

 Ann and I just went over to the Libbie Market to grab a quick bite to take back to the office. The wonderful thing about Richmond is the fact that almost anywhere you go you are all but certain to run into someone you know. Well today is no exception. We ran into a friend of mine from college. She owns and manages a small placement firm that specializes in finding work for mostly mothers that have so much to contribute to the work force, but also wish to manage their families in addition to generating an income.

 The almost unexpected thing came out of our conversation when I asked how her business has been. She, by the way, has adorable twin boys that you can imagine demand much of her attention. Regardless, she said business has been amazingly good. She continued to say that the number of people she places has been great, and, here is the really wonderful news, that the number of companies contacting her for help has also increased this summer.

 After all the negativity and hesitance I get when asking “how’s business”, I was momentarily shocked by her response. Then delight and confidence seem to fill up inside me as if to say, “see, there are good things happening in the work force today; I wonder why we don’t hear more stories like this one from our media outlets?”

 I like getting the good news and spreading the word about good fortune and hope. It makes me feel good, and I like feeling good. Hopefully this will inspire you have a great day and pass on your good news to others, increase your productivity, and improve your business. Who knows, this small town might just start a trend that proves a positive approach to living can jump-start our economy. I’m firmly committed to it, how about you?

Seventy Five years of Richmond’s Historic Preservation

This year is the seventy fifth year that officially marks the foundation of historic preservation in Richmond, Virginia in 1935. Laying the ground work for preservation in the 1920’s and 30’s, “Mary Wingfield Scott, Elisabeth Scott Bocock, Louise Catterall and Mary Reed contributed significantly to the increased appreciation for Richmond’s built environment through research, publication, postcards and walking tours”. It wasn’t until 1935 when an important historic structure, the Adam Craig House, was threatened with demolition that the idea of preservation as a practice was established.

It was Mary Wingfield Scott who formed a committee in order to purchase and preserve the Craig House. Located at 1812 East Grace Street, it was “the childhood home of Jane Craig Stanard, the subject of Edgar Allan Poe’s “To Helen,” the Adam Craig House was one of the few remaining 18th century structures in Richmond”. The then 145 year old home was saved from destruction and is touted as perhaps the oldest continuously occupied residences in Richmond today.

The Adam Craig House is listed again for sale by Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company; in August of 2010 this historic landmark is once again available for purchase in time to celebrate one of the most remarkable foundations in Richmond. Qualified purchasers can call for an appointment and the opportunity to own a significant piece of historic Richmond History.

Researched through the Historic Richmond Foundation, 4 E. Main Street, Suite 1-C, Richmond, VA 23219, www.historicrichmond.com

The Virginia Center for Architecture

Located on Monument Avenue

The Virginia Center for Architecture – Now on Permanent Exhibit:

The House That Pope Built

The Virginia Center for Architecture celebrates two years of bringing architecture to life with the opening of a permanent exhibit on its headquarters building, built in 1919 by architect John Russell Pope, FAIA.

The House That Pope Built includes photographs, narrative, and other educational media that shed light on the house — a 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion — in addition to John Kerr Branch, the patron who commissioned its construction; the architect; the house’s interiors; its setting on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue; and Compton Wynyates, the 15th/16th-century English country house that inspired the building’s design.

What else is going on at the Center? Take a look at our upcoming tours and other special programs

Check out the latest offerings from the VCA Museum Shop

On the Washington Post’s list of 5 More Reasons to Visit Richmond Now: The Virginia Center for Architecture!

See where Virginia’s buildings rank in the AIA’s poll of America’s favorite architecture