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“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 6: Don’t Trust Google

Don’t trust Google.

We know what you’ve been thinking all summer:

“I really need to get down to the Valentine. There’s that ‘controversial’ Monument Avenue exhibition on display and I read that article in Style Weekly about the Cook Photograph Collection. There’s even that exhibition with the working Costume and Textiles Lab!”

But you’ve been putting it off because of the ongoing construction. Please make plans to visit and just enjoy the adventure.

But keep in mind: it’s getting a little weird. There have been alarming reports of shape-shifting buildings and disappearing streets. The old Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital disappeared one week and the new VCU Children’s Hospital started appearing the next. Remember the Virginia Treatment Center for Children? It’s gone and a new VCU Adult Outpatient building is already replacing it. And then there are the streets. Well, sometimes there are streets. Other times, just a lot of parking cones, yellow tape and dust.

But despite all these changes to the neighborhood, the one thing that we are sure of is that the Valentine and our exciting exhibitions and programs aren’t going anywhere.

So just a piece of advice: ignore Google Maps. Instead, go ahead and get lost in this great neighborhood, enjoy the evolving Court End area, take in all the VCUHealth developments and discover a new stories about our city.

In this blog series, we’ve touched on a few: the Egyptian Building, Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Richmond and more. But those stories just scratch the surface.

Eventually, you’ll find us and you’ll get a medal (and a good dose of Richmond Stories) for all your efforts. See you soon!

Our friend Beau Cribbs finally found his way to the Valentine and received his medal!

“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 5: Rearing its Ugly Head

How do you really know that you’ve arrived at the Valentine? That’s easy.

As you make your way to that most beautiful block of 1100 East Clay in Richmond where the Valentine stands (and after you’ve traversed several closed sidewalks and lost your way several times), you will immediately be confronted by the ugliest building in the city. We’ve talked about cranes, closed streets, shifting sidewalks and event lost ghosts, but this edifice might be the real reason you’ve been having trouble finding us.

After all, it’s not hard to miss and it’s easy to get sidetracked. It’s the crumbling structure missing tiles and dead-ending East Clay Street. You know it as the City of Richmond’s Public Health and Safety Building.

 

Built in the 1960s and representing the worst of mid-century modern design, there is nothing healthy or safe about it. Not only is it an eyesore with its peeling walls and aging marble, but by plopping this building in the middle of Clay Street, it has served to isolate the Valentine and VCUHealth from the rest of downtown. Need proof? Here is a picture from the Valentine Archives of the gorgeous structure that stood on this spot before the Public Health and Safety Building went on to eventually fill the space:

FIC.033739, Purcell Hoe at NW corner of 10th and Clay Streets, Mary Wingfield Scott, The Valentine

Whatever your stance on the proposed Navy Hill redevelopment project, we can all agree that the City and the Valentine both deserve better than the existing sub-standard structure and its surrounding parking lots.

So as part of your “Where in the World is the Valentine?” adventure, walk around the Court End Neighborhood, take a look at Richmond’s ugliest building and consider the proposed plan for the area. If we are going to make informed decisions about this important and historic neighborhood, there nothing like seeing it for yourself.

And by visiting the Valentine, you have the opportunity to learn from our city’s history, explore both our successes and our failures and put those lessons to work for our shared community.

Also, you’ll get a medal. So that alone is worth the price of admission.

Richmond History Makers and Community Update Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 4, 2019

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

Richmond History Makers and Community Update Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

The Valentine is partnering with the Community Foundation for the 2020 program

RICHMOND –Nominations are now open for the Richmond History Makers and Community Update. Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the program recognizes individuals and organizations making substantive and lasting contributions to the Greater Richmond region.

This year, The Valentine will partner with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond to highlight the work of six honorees and provide an update on the projects and programs making a difference across the region. The six honorees will be recognized at a community celebration taking place at Virginia Union University on March 10, 2020.

“The Valentine is excited to collaborate with the Community Foundation to recognize the good work being done across the region while providing an overview of the life-changing work taking place right here in the community,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “We are looking forward to this new partnership, celebrating the event’s fifteenth anniversary, recognizing six new honorees and sharing transformational Richmond stories.”

“Partnering with the Valentine to celebrate history makers and share about successes across the region seemed like a natural fit,” said Scott Blackwell, Chief Community Engagement Officer with the Community Foundation. “Richmond History Makers gives us that feel good moment, year after year, to recognize many of the innovative and collaborative efforts that are moving our region forward and we are proud to join in the celebration.”

“Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) is proud to be a founding partner of the Richmond History Makers & Community Update Program,” said LMR President & CEO Myra Goodman Smith. “We are pleased to play a role in informing our region on the unique activities and projects that are making a difference and recognizing residents and organizations that are creating the impact.”

Nominations for the 2020 Richmond History Makers & Community Update are being accepted September 4 through October 25. You can learn more about the program, view past honorees and nominate your own Richmond history maker at RichmondHistoryMakers.com.

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About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. Through collections, exhibitions and programs, the Valentine provides residents and tourists the opportunity to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. The Valentine offers major changing exhibitions, which focus on American urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. https://thevalentine.org/

About the Community Foundation
The Community Foundation is a leading partner and advocate for philanthropy and service in the Richmond region. Founded in 1968, the Community Foundation has built a strong legacy of helping people and institutions give back with passion and purpose. https://www.cfrichmond.org/

About Leadership Metro Richmond
Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) is the region’s community leadership development and engagement organization. Over 2,000 diverse leaders have participated in LMR’s 10-month leadership development program, Leadership Quest. LMR provides leaders with an environment for high-performing conversations, broadens their knowledge and perspectives about the region, and inspires them to serve first then lead. http://www.lmronline.org/

“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 4: Cranes Find a Way

No matter how many wrong turns you make, closed sidewalks you avoid or yellow tape you ignore in your valiant attempts to find the Valentine, sooner or later, you’ll spot them. And you’re not the only one.

Be quiet! One of the new Great Yellow Cranes is roosting right in front of the Valentine.

Birdwatchers are flocking to the Valentine in the historic Court End neighborhood to get a rare glance at the new nesting area for one of the greatest of ornithological wonders: the Great Yellow Crane. While seen from time to time in other parts of the city, the Valentine is at the center of one of the largest rookeries for this amazing species.

While there are just three who have made their home nearby, we are expecting more arrivals this fall, eager to roost and change the landscape in the process. Our Great Yellow Cranes can now be seen at the construction sites of the VCU Outpatient Clinic and the Virginia General Assembly Office Building. We are also anticipating the arrival of two new chicks where the new Children’s Hospital is being built.

In fact, today we spotted the very rare Miniature Black Crane hatchling taking a rest right near the Children’s Hospital Grounds (pictured below). All of these cranes can be very large, very threatening and can sometimes make very weird sounds. They’re also very slow, so it’s easy to avoid them.

The Miniature Black Crane in its natural habitat.

But these cranes are particularly special, because they’re not from the rookery on the James River. We’re taking about construction cranes. The Valentine’s neighborhood is always undergoing some sort of change, but we are still here telling the stories of Richmond.  If you think about it, with the Virginia State Capitol, the Executive Mansion, the John Marshall House, the American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy and Monumental Church all in the same neighborhood, if we’re not the natural habitat for wild cranes, we’re definitely the natural habitat for American history.

Bring your binoculars, take some time to enjoy the “wildlife” springing up near the Valentine and remember: the cranes are more afraid of you than you are of them. Enjoy the scenery as you make your way to the Valentine; it’s all a part of the great adventure!

Discover the Valentine (and our cranes) for yourself this weekend…

“Where in the World is the Valentine?” Part 1: The Great Adventure!

This first blog by Director Bill Martin kicks off our six week “Where in the World is the Valentine?” series

Join us this summer for a great adventure to find the Valentine.  More fun than any theme park and better than the beach, we invite you discover the transformation of the VCUHealth campus and at the end of your trek find one of Richmond’s most enduring and elusive treasures…

The Valentine!

This trip to our neighborhood will be filled with off-roading, disappearing buildings, wandering spirits, obstacle courses and, of course, a decent amount of time travel. Who needs to leave town when all of this adventure is awaiting you right in your back yard (just around a few parking cones, through a road closure and past a few giant cranes, of course)?

Let’s begin with the basics. Each week, we will post an official update, providing directions on this great adventure. From there, you will enter the maze and hopefully find the parking lot at the Valentine. We’ll make sure to provide helpful (or not so helpful) hints on how to get here and who (or what) you may find along the way.

Whatever you do, don’t give up!

We will keep it simple. Here are the entry points for this week; happily ignore whatever Google Maps tells you.

From East Broad:

Take a left on 11th Street and begin your journey.  Cross Marshall Street and turn left on Clay Street.  The Wickham House and the Valentine will be on your left.   While beautiful, you will need to drive slowly.  This is where all of our schools kids on field trips enter the building.

Clay Street ends with the ugliest building in the city (pictured below), so make sure you’re not so distracted by this eye-sore that you miss the turn.  Carefully Turn left on 10th and then an immediate left into our parking lot.

From West Broad:

Take a right on 11th and follow the directions above, including the reminder to not let the ugliest building in Richmond sour your experience entirely.

From Leigh Street (the easiest option):

Turn onto 10th Street and just after you pass Clay Street (and the previously mentioned ugliest building in the city), make a left into the Valentine parking lot.

Next week, we will begin providing a few notes to guide you during your visit to the Valentine and the historic Court End Neighborhood. You never know where you might end up; how about a side trip to Egypt? But more on that later.

If you can traverse these obstacles, overcome peril and hardship, and finally reach your destination at the Valentine,  you’ll have the best fun of the summer and you will receive a medal for your bravery, courage and fortitude! Can you meet the challenge?

 

 

New Valentine Exhibition Chronicles Richmond’s Response to Seven Deadly Diseases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2018

Contact:
Eric Steigleder
Director of Public Relations & Marketing
esteigleder@thevalentine.org

                                                                

New Valentine Exhibition Chronicles Richmond’s Response to Seven Deadly Diseases

Stories of life-saving progress collide with racial and social disparities in Pandemic: Richmond

RICHMOND – A new exhibition exploring the storms of disease that have swept through the city of Richmond will debut at the Valentine on May 10.

Richmond Influenza Vaccines, 1976, photo by Wallace Huey Clark, V.85.37.2477

Pandemic: Richmond identifies stories of both loss and survival as Richmonders fought silent, invisible enemies, including the 1918–1919 influenza, smallpox, tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid fever, polio and HIV/AIDS. Drawing on the Valentine’s expansive archival collection, this exhibition reveals how these seven diseases ravaged communities while prompting life-saving advances in health care.

“This exhibition gives the Valentine the opportunity to show the true scope and impact of disease throughout Richmond’s history,” said Curator of Archives Meg Hughes. “In addition to the past, Pandemic: Richmond looks at disease today and will hopefully inspire visitors to take an active role in determining how Richmond will address future outbreaks.”

The exhibition also confronts issues of access and inequality. Throughout Richmond’s history, the impact of disease has fallen disproportionately on African Americans, the poor, the enslaved and the disadvantaged. Pandemic: Richmond aims to examine and share these important stories.

“This exhibition uses disease as a way to discuss progress, community, bigotry and modernity in Richmond,” said Valentine Director Bill Martin. “From the laudable scientific achievements to the uncomfortable truths about who did and did not receive care, Pandemic: Richmond tells a nuanced story that is equal parts frightening and hopeful.”

Pandemic: Richmond was developed with collaborating scholar Elizabeth Outka, an associate professor of English at the University of Richmond and author of the upcoming Raising the Dead, a book about modernist literature and the flu pandemic in Britain and the United States.

“Disease often receives less attention than military conflict but pandemic outbreaks from smallpox to AIDS/HIV have profoundly shaped the city’s history and the lives of its citizens,” said Outka.

The exhibition will be on view at the Valentine from May 10, 2018 to February 24, 2019.

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About the Valentine
The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond stories for more than a century. Through collections, exhibitions and programs, the Valentine provides residents and tourists the opportunity to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region. The Valentine offers major changing exhibitions, which focus on American urban and social history, costumes, decorative arts and architecture. https://thevalentine.org/

76 Years of Neighborhood Tours!

The Claiborne Robins, Jr. Director of Public Programs Liz Reilly-Brown discusses the history of the Valentine’s neighborhood tours.

FIC.031797; “Carrington Row Tour”; Oct 28 1967; The Richmond Times-Dispatch

In the fall of 1942, the Valentine and historic preservation champion Mary Wingfield Scott launched a series of walking tours exploring Richmond. The Valentine had recently opened the exhibition Old Richmond Neighborhoods, a project that grew out of Scott’s efforts to document the city’s vulnerable historic neighborhoods and architecture. These early walking tours brought Richmond citizens together to explore their city, visiting areas such as Gamble’s Hill, Church Hill, Oregon Hill, Jackson Ward and Hollywood Cemetery.

Tours were among the methods utilized by Scott to spread the gospel of historic preservation. Scott educated residents about important examples of architecture and historic places in their own backyards, sites she believed were in need of saving from ongoing threats of demolition, disrepair and development.

V.85.37.4033; “Group Tours Restoration Project in Church Hill”; 1972; The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thus, the Valentine’s tour program was born (though not always offered consistently and stewarded for a time by Historic Richmond Foundation). Today, the museum continues Scott’s work by providing Richmonders with opportunities to explore their city by foot, bus and bike, with the goal of sharing diverse stories of Richmond residents and exploring the ever-changing landscape.

In my personal experience organizing the tour program, some of the most rewarding moments have occurred spontaneously as tour takers share their own stories. On a tour of Battery Park last spring, our group discussed the shifting demographics of the neighborhood in the last seventy years, and two attendees recalled their personal experiences during school desegregation. They soon discovered that they were former elementary school classmates, one white and one black.

2018 will mark 76 years since the first Valentine walking tours, and we have many exciting things in the store for the coming season.  Favorite tours will be back, such as Hollywood Cemetery, our downtown City Center Walks and beloved areas like Church Hill, Jackson Ward and Scotts Addition. New additions to our tour program will take attendees to different parts of the city and provide new perspectives, such as a stroll along the Floodwall exploring the history of Richmond and the James River, a walk through the Broad Street Arts District, a tour and work day at Evergreen Cemetery and an exploration of Carytown’s LGBTQ+ history.

We hope that by continuing to explore our city and unearth the important stories of its residents, we honor the legacy of Mary Wingfield Scott, and the numerous people who have contributed to the diversity, culture and history of Richmond.

On behalf of the Valentine, I invite you to join us for tours, April through December. More info can be found at thevalentine.org/tours.

Liz Reilly-Brown is the Claiborne Robins, Jr. Director of Public Programs at the Valentine

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