April 28, 2015
NTHP Media Contact: Erica stewart, 202.588.6141, firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHMOND CITY COUNCIL VOTE KEY TO SAVING SHOCKOE BOTTOM
Statement by Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Elizabeth S. Kostelny, executive director of Preservation Virginia
Washington /Richmond (April 27, 2015) – Tonight, the Richmond City Council voted to pass City Resolution 2015-R26, sponsored by Council members Parker Agelasto, Charles Samuels, and Reva M. Trammel which calls for an archaeological investigation at the site of Seabrook’s Tobacco Warehouse in historic Shockoe Bottom, and on “such other City-owned real estate as may be appropriate.” The following are statements from national and local preservation leaders:
Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation:
“We fully endorse additional archaeology in Shockoe Bottom, and thank the Richmond City Council for their support. This research will help all Americans better understand the full history of Shockoe Bottom, and allow for more informed decisions about the most appropriate path forward for this neighborhood’s future revitalization. We remain committed to a vision for Shockoe Bottom that balances respectful commemoration of its slave trade history, cultural heritage tourism, and economic opportunity.”
Elizabeth S. Kostelny, Executive Director of Preservation Virginia:
“We join the National Trust in commending Parker Agelasto, Charles Samuels and Reva M. Trammel for their vision and thank the entire Richmond City Council for supporting continued archaeology in Shockoe Bottom. With the Trust and our local allies, we continue to advocate for a comprehensive investigation of Shockoe’s rich and complex past before development proceeds. An archaeological investigation at the Seabrook Tobacco Warehouse site would be an important step toward that goal, and we are pleased that the City Council recognizes the historic and cultural significance of Shockoe Bottom.”
BACKGROUND ON SHOCKOE BOTTOM
Shockoe Bottom in downtown Richmond, Virginia, was once a national center of the American slave trade. Much of Shockoe Bottom has since been razed and paved over, leaving many of its archaeological resources undisturbed and unexcavated. Today this area is threatened by a stadium project, championed by the mayor of Richmond, that would destroy the archaeological remains which lie beneath. The National Trust, Preservation Virginia, and their local allies believe Shockoe Bottom must be understood as a place of endurance and resistance, and should be treated as a Site of Conscience, where the public can remember past struggles for freedom and work together to address the contemporary legacies of injustice.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. PreservationNation.org. Visit #saveshockoe for more information.
ABOUT PRESERVATION VIRGINIA
Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations.