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City of Richmond
—  City  —

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): The River City[1]
Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars)
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Coordinates: 37°32′27.5″N 77°25′58.4″W / 37.540972°N 77.432889°W / 37.540972; -77.432889
Country United States of America
State Virginia
Government
 - Mayor Dwight Clinton Jones (I)
Area
 - City 62.5 sq mi (162.0 km2)
 - Land 60.1 sq mi (155.6 km2)
 - Water 2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)
Elevation 166.45 ft (45.7 m)
Population (2007)
 - City 200,123
 Density 3,211.1/sq mi (1,239.8/km2)
 Metro 1,212,977
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes 23173, 23218-23242, 23249-23250, 23255, 23260-23261, 23269, 23273-23274, 23276, 23278-23279, 23282, 23284-23286, 23288-23295, 23297-23298, 23221, 23225, 23226
Area code(s) 804
FIPS code 51-67000[2]
GNIS feature ID 1499957[3]
Website http://www.richmondgov.com
Nomenclature evolution

Prior to 1071 - Richemont: a town in Normandy, France.
1071 to 1501 - Richmond: a castle town in Yorkshire, UK.
1501 to 1742 - Richmond, a palace town in Surrey, UK.

1742 to present - Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond (pronounced /ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. Like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, it is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond area. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, and surrounded by Interstate 295 and Virginia State Route 288 in central Virginia. The population was 200,123 in 2007,[4] with an estimated population of 1,212,977 for the Richmond Metropolitan Area — making it the third largest in Virginia.[5]

The site of Richmond, at the fall line of the James River in the Piedmont region of Virginia, was briefly settled by English settlers from Jamestown in 1609, and in 1610–11, near the site of a significant native settlement. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1779—the latter of which was written by Thomas Jefferson in the city. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America, and many important American Civil War landmarks remain in the city today, including the Virginia State Capitol and the White House of the Confederacy, among others.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government with several notable legal and banking firms, as well as federal, state, and local governmental agencies, located in the downtown area.

The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Dominion Resources and MeadWestvaco (Fortune 500 companies) and Massey Energy and Universal Corporation (Fortune 1000 companies) are headquartered in the city.[6] Tourism is also important, as many historic sites are in or nearby the city.

Contents

History

Early settlement

Before 1607, the Powhatan tribe had lived in the region. For centuries, the tribe recognized the value of this site, rich in natural beauty, and had one of their capitals here, also known as Powhatan. They knew it as a place to hunt, fish, play, and trade, and they also called it Shocquohocan, or Shockoe.[7][8]

The Christopher Newport Cross monument on the canal, commemorating the cross erected at the site of Richmond by an English exploration party that claimed the site and the river for King James in 1607. The party was led by Capt. Christopher Newport

In 1606, James I granted a royal charter to the Virginia Company of London to settle colonists in North America.[9] After the first permanent English-speaking settlement was established in April 1607, at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport led explorers northwest up the James River, and on May 24, 1607, erected a cross on one of the small islands in the middle of the part of the river that runs through today's downtown area.

The first English settlement within the present limits of the city was made in 1609 by Francis West at the falls, in the district known as Rockett's,[7] and was known as "West Fort". Captain John Smith then bought the fortified Powhatan village on the north bank of the river from chief Parahunt, about 3 miles (4.8 km) from the fort. He named this tract Nonesuch, but the English garrison soon abandoned the entire area after attacks by the Powhatans. In fall, 1610, Lord de la Warre made a second attempt to build a fort at the falls, which managed to last all winter, but was then likewise abandoned.

In 1645, Fort Charles was erected at the falls of the James – the highest navigable point of the James River – as a frontier defense. New settlers moved in, and the community grew into a bustling trading post for furs, hides, and tobacco.[7][8] Col. David Crawford, a Virginia Burgess, owned much of the land in the mid-1600s that would become Richmond.

Founding of Richmond

In 1673, William Byrd I was granted lands on the James River that included the area around Falls that would become Richmond and already included small settlements. Byrd was a well-connected Indian trader in the area and established a fort on the site. William Byrd II inherited his father's land in 1704, and in 1737 founded the town of Richmond at the Falls of the James and commissioned Major William Mayo to lay out the original town grid. Byrd named the city Richmond after the English town of Richmond near (and now part of) London, because the view of the James River was strikingly similar to the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill in England, where he had spent time during his youth. The settlement was laid out in April 1737, and was incorporated as a town in 1742.[7][8]

American Revolution

Patrick Henry delivering his, "Liberty or Death," speech at St. John's Church in Richmond, helping to ignite the American Revolution.

In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death," speech in St. John's Church in Richmond that was crucial for deciding Virginia's (then the largest of the 13 colonies) participation in the First Continental Congress and setting the course for revolution and independence. Thomas Jefferson, who would soon write the United States Declaration of Independence, George Washington, who would soon command the Continental Army, were in attendance at this critical moment on the path to the American Revolution.[10]

On April 18, 1780, as Virginia's population moved further west, the state capital was moved from the colonial capital of Williamsburg to Richmond, to provide a more centralized location, as well as to isolate the capital from British attack.[11] In 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops causing Governor Thomas Jefferson to flee the city. Yet Richmond shortly recovered and, by 1782, Richmond was once again a thriving city.[12]

In 1786, one of the most important and influential passages of legislation in American history was passed at the temporary state capital in Richmond, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and sponsored by James Madison, the statute was the basis for the separation of church and state, and led to freedom of religion for all Americans as protected in the religion clause in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. Its importance is recognized annually by the President of The United States, with January 16 established as National Religious Freedom Day.[13]

The Virginia Capitol Building, designed by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau.

The Virginia State Capitol building, designed by Thomas Jefferson with the assistance of Charles-Louis Clérisseau, was completed in 1788. It is the second-oldest US statehouse in continuous use (Maryland's is the oldest) and was the first US government building built in the neo-classical Roman style of architecture, setting the trend for other state houses and the federal government buildings (including the White House and The Capitol) in Washington, D.C.. It underwent a complete renovation which was completed in May 2007.[14]

Early 19th century

After the Revolutionary War, Richmond emerged an important industrial center. George Washington proposed and received the support of the Virginia legislature for the establishment of the James River and Kanawha Canal, the first canal system to be established in the U.S. The canal allowed goods and services coming up the James River to be navigated around the falls at Richmond and connect Richmond and the eastern part of Virginia with the west. As a result, Richmond became home to some of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country, including iron works and flour mills, the largest facilities of their kind in the south. Canal traffic peaked in the 1860s and slowly gave way to railroads, allowing Richmond to become a major railroad crossroads, eventually including the site of the world's first triple railroad crossing.[15] The Canal officially ceased operations in the 1880s, although portions of the canal have been preserved and rebuilt in the late 1990s, spurring some tourism and economic development along the old canal route.[16]

Besides transportation and industry, antebellum Richmond was also the center of regional communications, with several newspapers and book publishers, including John Warrock, helping shape public opinion and further the education of the populace.

The resistance to the slave trade was growing by the mid-nineteenth century; in one famous case in 1848, Henry "Box" Brown made history by having himself nailed into a small box and shipped from Richmond to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, escaping slavery.[17]

Civil War and Reconstruction

Damage to Richmond, Virginia at the close of the American Civil War. Albumen print, 1865.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the strategic location of the Tredegar Iron Works was one of the primary factors in the decision to make Richmond the Capital of the Confederacy.[18] From this arsenal came the 723 tons of armor plating that covered the CSS Virginia, the world's first ironclad used in war, as well as much of the Confederates' heavy ordnance machinery.[19] In February 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, Alabama, the first Confederate capital. In the early morning of April 12, 1861, the Confederate army fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, beginning the Civil War. On April 17, 1861, Virginia seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States, and soon thereafter the Confederate government moved its capital to Richmond.[20] The Confederate Congress shared quarters with the Virginia General Assembly in the Virginia State Capitol, and the Confederacy's executive mansion, the "White House of the Confederacy", was two blocks away in the upscale Court End neighborhood.

The Seven Days Battles followed in late June and early July 1862. During this time Union General McClellan threatened to take Richmond but ultimately failed, Three years later, on April 2, 1865, Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army captured Richmond, and the state capital was then relocated to Danville. Six days later, Robert E. Lee's retreating Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, symbolically ending the war. On April 2, 1865, about 25% of the city's buildings were destroyed in a fire set by retreating Confederate soldiers. Union soldiers put out the fires as they entered the city.[20] President Lincoln left Washington for Richmond immediately upon hearing of the city's capture, arriving on April 4 with the city still smoldering from the fires.[citation needed] Lincoln wanted to make a public gesture of sitting at Jefferson Davis's own desk, symbolically saying to the nation that the President of the United States held authority over the entire land.[citation needed] He was greeted at the city as a conquering hero by freed slaves, whose sentiments were epitomized by one admirer's quote, "I know I am free, for I have seen the face of Father Abraham and have felt him."[citation needed] When a general asked Lincoln how the defeated Confederates should be treated, Lincoln replied, "Let 'em up easy."[21] Unfortunately, just ten days later, on April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. by John Wilkes Booth.

The next month, on May 25, 1865, Francis Harrison Pierpont of Fairmont, West Virginia, Governor of the Restored State of Virginia (1861–68)—"restored" to the Union—moved the seat of government of "restored" Virginia from Alexandria back to Richmond, as President Lincoln had intended. The Virginia General Assembly was once again located in the State House in Richmond, and Pierpont and his family moved into the Executive Mansion.

During President Andrew Johnson's administration, Pierpont was replaced as Governor on April 4, 1868 by General Henry H. Wells of New York, who was formerly under the command of Brever Major General John Schofield.[citation needed] Pierpont and his family returned home to Fairmont.[22]

The intersection of 8th & Broad Streets (Theater District) in 1923.

Civil War recovery and reconstruction continued in Richmond. Monument Avenue was laid out in 1887, with a series of monuments at various intersections honoring the city's Confederate heroes (east to west) J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson and oceanographer Matthew F. Maury.[23] Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of both Stuart and Davis.

Contributing to Richmond's industrial reconstruction was the first successful electrically-powered trolley system in the United States, the Richmond Union Passenger Railway. Designed by electric power pioneer Frank J. Sprague, the trolley system opened its first line in 1888, and electric streetcar lines rapidly spread to other cities across the country.[24] Sprague's system used an overhead wire and trolley pole to collect current, with electric motors on the car's trucks.[25]

20th century

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the city's population had reached 85,050 in 5 square miles (13 km2), making it the most densely populated city in the southern United States.[26]

In 1903, African-American businesswoman and financier Maggie L. Walker chartered St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, and served as its first president, as well as the first female bank president in the United States. Today, the bank is called the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, and it is the oldest surviving African-American bank in the U.S. The regional Governor's School in Richmond is named after her.[27]

In 1910, the former city of Manchester was consolidated with the city of Richmond, and in 1914, the city annexed the Barton Heights, Ginter Park, and Highland Park areas of Henrico County.[28]

In May 1914, Richmond became the headquarters of the Fifth District of the Federal Reserve Bank. It was selected due to the city's geographic location, its importance as a commercial and financial center, its transportation and communications facilities, as well as Virginia's leading regional role in the banking business. The bank was originally located near the federal courts downtown and moved to a new headquarters building near the Capitol in 1922, and finally to its present location overlooking the James River in 1978.[29] Richmond's business and industrial development continued throughout the decade, and in 1929, Philip Morris, which began as a British company about 100 years earlier, opened its first US factory in the city. Richmond was chosen because the town's rich tobacco history.[30]

Richmond entered the broadcasting era in late 1925 when WRVA, originally known as the Edgeworth Tobacco Station and owned by Larus & Brothers, went on the air. The white ballad singers and black gospel quartets that were popular on the radio at the time were often urban and sometimes even professional men. At the time, Richmond was particularly self-conscious with its southern roots, and such music was seen as culturally inferior. WTVR-TV (CBS 6), the first television station in Richmond, was the first television station south of Washington, D.C.[31]

The Landmark Theater, originally known as The Mosque, adjacent to Monroe Park.

Several performing arts venues were constructed during the 1920s. In 1926, The Mosque (now called the Landmark Theater) was constructed by the Shriners as their Acca Temple Shrine, and since then, many of America's greatest entertainers have appeared on its stage beneath its towering minarets and desert murals.[32] Loew's Theater was built in 1927, and was described as, "the ultimate in 1920s movie palace fantasy design." It later suffered a decline in popularity as the movie-going population moved to the suburbs, but was restored during the 1980s and renamed as the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts.[33] In 1928, the Byrd Theater was built by local architect Fred Bishop on Westhampton Avenue (now called Cary Street) in a residential area of the city. To this day, the Byrd remains in operation as one of the last of the great movie palaces of the 1920s and 1930s.[34]

Between 1963 and 1965, there was a "downtown boom" that led to the construction of more than 700 buildings in the city. In 1968, Virginia Commonwealth University was created by the merger of the Medical College of Virginia with the Richmond Professional Institute.[35] In 1970, Richmond's borders expanded by an additional 27 square miles (70 km2) on the south. After several years of court cases in which Chesterfield County fought annexation, more than 47,000 people who once were Chesterfield County residents found themselves in the city's perimeters on January 1, 1970.[36]

Between the 1984 and 1985 seasons, the city completed construction of the Diamond, a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Braves, a AAA baseball team in the Atlanta Braves minor league system. The park opened on April 17, 1985, replacing the old Parker Field, which previously occupied the same site.[37] Also in 1985, Richmond saw the opening of 6th Street Marketplace, a downtown festival marketplace, which was envisioned as a solution to the downtown area's urban erosion. The project ultimately failed, and the shopping center was closed and demolished in 2004.[38]

A multi-million dollar flood wall was completed in 1995, in order to protect the city and the Shockoe Bottom businesses from the rising waters of the James River. After the flood wall was completed, the River District businesses grew rapidly, and today the area is home to much of Richmond's entertainment, dining and nightlife activity.[39]

In 1996, a reminder of Richmond's Confederate history arose amid controversy involved in placing a statue of African American Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe to the famed series of statues of Confederate heroes of the Civil War on Monument Avenue.[40] After several months of controversy, the bronze statue of Ashe was finally completed on Monument Avenue facing the opposite direction from the Confederate Heroes on July 10, 1996.[41]

21st century

Richmond entered the twenty-first century in the process of undergoing several redevelopment initiatives. The city completed a $52 million restoration of the James River and Kanawha Canals, as well as the Haxall Canal, in 1999, which included a Canal Walk, designed to attract businesses such as restaurants and nightclubs to the area. The riverfront project has brought the 1.25-mile (2.01 km) corridor back to life, with trendy loft apartments, restaurants, shops and hotels winding along the Canal Walk, along with canal boat cruises and walking tours.[16] Riverfront development continued in April 2003 with the start of construction of Riverside on the James, a 720,000 square foot (66,890 sq m) residential and office complex near Brown's Island between 10th and 12th Streets downtown. The project, costing $90 million, was completed in July 2005, and is expected to attract even more commercial development to the downtown area.[42]

On September 19, 2003, Hurricane Isabel's sustained winds of 40–60 miles per hour (64–97 km/h) caused major power outages in the area.

In September 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston swept through the area, bringing with it intense rain, causing severe flooding in the Shockoe Bottom business district, as well as major electrical outages throughout the metropolitan area.[43]

Geography and climate

Geography

Richmond-Petersburg area

Richmond is located at 37°32′18.05″N 77°27′41.42″W / 37.5383472°N 77.4615056°W / 37.5383472; -77.4615056 (37.538346, -77.461507).[44] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 62.5 square miles (162 km2). 60.1 sq mi (156 km2) of it is land and 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2) of it (3.96%) is water. The city is located in the Piedmont region of Virginia, at the highest navigable point of the James River. The Piedmont region is categorized by relatively low, rolling hills, and lies between the low, sea level Tidewater region and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Significant bodies of water in the region include the James River, the Appomattox River, and the Chickahominy River.

The Richmond-Petersburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the 43rd largest in the United States, includes the independent cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg, as well as the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and Prince George.[45] As of July 1, 2005 (2005 -07-01), the total population of the Richmond—Petersburg MSA was 1,194,008.[46]

Cityscape

Richmond is often subdivided into North Side, Southside, East End and West End

Richmond's original street grid, laid out in 1737, included the area between what are now Broad, 17th, and 25th Streets and the James River. Modern Downtown Richmond is located slightly farther west, on the slopes of Shockoe Hill. Nearby neighborhoods include Shockoe Bottom, the historically significant and low-lying area between Shockoe Hill and Church Hill, and Monroe Ward, which contains the Jefferson Hotel. Richmond's East End includes neighborhoods like rapidly gentrifying Church Hill, home to St. John's Church, as well as poorer areas like Fulton, Union Hill, and Fairmont, and public housing projects like Mosby Court, Whitcomb Court, Fairfield Court, and Creighton Court closer to Interstate 64.[47]

The area between Belvidere Street, Interstate 195, Interstate 95, and the river, which includes Virginia Commonwealth University, is socioeconomically and architecturally diverse. North of Broad Street, the Carver and Newtowne West neighborhoods are demographically similar to neighboring Jackson Ward, with Carver experiencing some gentrification due to its proximity to VCU. The affluent area between the Boulevard, Main Street, Broad Street, and VCU, known as the Fan, is home to Monument Avenue, an outstanding collection of Victorian architecture, and many students. West of the Boulevard is the Museum District, the location of the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. South of the Downtown Expressway are Byrd Park, Maymont, Hollywood Cemetery, the predominantly black working class Randolph neighborhood, and white working class Oregon Hill. Cary Street between Interstate 195 and the Boulevard is a popular commercial area called Carytown.[47]

Further to the west is the affluent, suburban West End. The West End also includes middle to lower income neighborhoods, such as Farmington and the areas surrounding the Regency Mall. The University of Richmond and the Country Club of Virginia can be found here.[47]

The portion of the city south of the James River is known as the Southside. Neighborhoods in the city's Southside area range from affluent and middle class suburban neighborhoods like Westover Hills, Forest Hill, Southampton, Stratford Hills, Oxford, Huguenot Hills, Hobby Hill, and Woodland Heights to the impoverished Manchester and Blackwell areas, the Hillside Court housing projects, and the ailing Jefferson Davis Highway commercial corridor. Other Southside neighborhoods include Fawnbrook, Broad Rock, Cherry Gardens, Cullenwood, and Beaufont Hills. Much of Southside developed a suburban character as part of Chesterfield County before being annexed by Richmond, most notably in 1970.[47]

The other side of the city, the Northside, began to develop at the end of the 19th century when the new streetcar system made it possible for people to live on the outskirts of town and still commute to jobs downtown. Prominent Northside neighborhoods include Ginter Park, Bellevue, Barton Heights, Highland Park, Azalea, and Chamberlayne.[47]

Climate

Richmond has a humid subtropical climate with moderate seasonal changes. Spring arrives in March with mild days and cool nights, and by late May, the temperature warms up considerably to herald warm summer days. Summer temperatures can be hot, often topping 90 °F (32 °C) with high humidity. On average, the city receives 83 nights below freezing, and July is the warmest month of the year, with the maximum average precipitation. Days stay warm to mild until October, and autumn is marked by the return of cooler nights. Winter is usually mild in Richmond, with the coldest days featuring lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s and highs in the mid to upper 40s. The highest temperature ever recorded was 107 °F (42 °C) in 1918, and the lowest temperature ever recorded was −12 °F (−24.4 °C) in 1940. On average, the coldest month of the year is January.[48] Snowfall is usually light averaging 12 inches (300 mm) per season.[49]

Climate data for Richmond, Virginia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 45
(7.2)
49
(9.4)
58
(14.4)
69
(20.6)
76
(24.4)
84
(28.9)
88
(31.1)
86
(30)
80
(26.7)
69
(20.6)
60
(15.6)
50
(10)
67.8
(19.9)
Average low °F (°C) 28
(-2.2)
30
(-1.1)
37
(2.8)
45
(7.2)
55
(12.8)
63
(17.2)
68
(20)
67
(19.4)
60
(15.6)
47
(8.3)
38
(3.3)
31
(-0.6)
47.4
(8.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.55
(90.2)
2.98
(75.7)
4.09
(103.9)
3.18
(80.8)
3.96
(100.6)
3.54
(89.9)
4.67
(118.6)
4.18
(106.2)
3.98
(101.1)
3.60
(91.4)
3.06
(77.7)
3.12
(79.2)
43.91
(1,115.3)
Snowfall inches (mm) 4.0
(101.6)
4.8
(121.9)
1.4
(35.6)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(5.1)
1.5
(38.1)
11.9
(302.3)
Source: The Weather Channel [48] February 5, 2010
Source #2: NOAA [50] February 2010

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 3,761
1800 5,737 52.5%
1810 9,735 69.7%
1820 12,067 24.0%
1830 16,060 33.1%
1840 20,153 25.5%
1850 27,570 36.8%
1860 37,910 37.5%
1870 51,038 34.6%
1880 63,600 24.6%
1890 81,388 28.0%
1900 85,050 4.5%
1910 127,628 50.1%
1920 171,667 34.5%
1930 182,929 6.6%
1940 193,042 5.5%
1950 230,310 19.3%
1960 219,958 −4.5%
1970 249,621 13.5%
1980 219,214 −12.2%
1990 203,056 −7.4%
2000 197,790 −2.6%
Est. 2008 202,002 2.1%

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 41.6% of Richmond's population; of which 39.5% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 52.3% of Richmond's population; of which 52.1% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.4% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 1.6% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up less than 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 1.7% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 2.4% of the city's population; of which 2.1% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 4.2% of Richmond's population.[51][52]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 197,790 people, 84,549 households, and 43,627 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,292.6 people per square mile (1,271.3/km²). There were 92,282 housing units at an average density of 1,536.2/sq mi (593.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.30% White, 57.19% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.49% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.57% of the population.

There were 84,549 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.1% were married couples living together, 20.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,121, and the median income for a family was $38,348. Males had a median income of $30,874 versus $25,880 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,337. About 17.1% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.9% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.

Crime

The following tables show Richmond's crime rate in 6 crimes that Morgan Quitno uses for their calculation for "America's most dangerous cities" ranking, in comparison to the national average. The statistics provided are not for the actual amount of crimes committed, but how many crimes committed per capita. All crime rankings provided by Morgan Quitno are based upon the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs).[53][54]

Crime Richmond Virginia (2006) National Average
Murder 38.8 7.0
Rape 38.8 33.1
Robbery 504.3 205.8
Assault 460.9 336.5
Burglary 1167.0 813.2
Automobile Theft 744.5 501.5

During the crime wave of the late 1980s into the early '90s the city had experienced a spike in overall crime, in particular the city's murder rate. The city had experienced 93 murders for the year of 1985, with a murder rate of 41.9 killings committed per 100,000 residents. Within a 10 year period, the city saw a major increase in total homicides. In 1990 the city experienced 114 murders, given a murder rate of 56.1 killings per 100,000 residents. There were 120 murders for the year of 1995, that year the murder rate was the highest at 59.1 killings per 100,000 residents, such a rate given is one of the absolute highest in the United States.[55]

Morgan Quitno Press' "11th Annual America's Safest and Most Dangerous Cities Awards" ranked Richmond as the 9th most dangerous out of 354 cities for 2004.[56] Richmond was ranked overall as the 5th most dangerous city and the 12th most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States for the year of 2005.[57][58][59] The following year, Richmond had seen a decline in crime, ranking as the 15th most dangerous city in the United States. By 2008, Richmond's position on the highest-crime list had fallen all the way to 49th.[60]

However, the FBI discourages the use of its crime statistics for the direct comparison of cities as Morgan Quitno does in its "Most Dangerous Cities" rankings. This is due to the many factors that influence crime in a particular study area such as population density and the degree of urbanization, modes of transportation of highway system, economic conditions, and citizens' attitudes toward crime.[61] According to the FBI, a city to city comparison of crime rates is not meaningful, because recording practices vary from city to city, citizens report different percentages of crimes from one city to the next, and the actual number of people physically present in a city is unknown.[62]

Richmond's major crime, including all violent and property crimes, was down 47 percent between 2004 and 2009, the lowest in more than a quarter-century.[63] 2008 statistics show the murder rate for the city remains six and a half times the national average, and seven times the average for the state of Virginia.[citation needed] All other forms of crime tend to be declining, yet remaining above state and national averages.[64] In 2008, the city had recorded the lowest homicide rate since 1971.[65]

Religion

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, dedicated in 1906

Richmond has several historic churches. Because of its early English colonial history from the early 1600s to 1776, Richmond has a number of prominent Anglican/Episcopal churches including Monumental Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and St. John's Episcopal Church. Methodists and Baptists made up another section of early churches, and First Baptist Church of Richmond was the first of these, established in 1780. In the Reformed church tradition, the first Presbyterian Church in the City of Richmond was First Presbyterian Church, organized on June 18, 1812. On February 5, 1845, Second Presbyterian Church of Richmond was founded, which was a historic church where Stonewall Jackson attended and was the first Gothic building and the first gas-lit church to be built in Richmond.[66]

Due to the influx of German immigrants in the 1840s, Saint Johns German Evangelical church was formed in 1843. Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral held its first worship service in a rented room at 309 North 7th Street in 1917. The cathedral relocated to 30 Malvern Avenue in 1960 and is noted as one of two Eastern Orthodox churches in Richmond and home to the annual Richmond Greek Festival.[67] There are two other Orthodox churches in the Greater Richmond area.[citation needed]

The first Jewish congregation in Richmond was Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalom. Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalom was the sixth congregation in the United States and was the westernmost in the United States at the time of its foundation. By 1822 K.K. Beth Shalom members worshipped in the first synagogue building in Virginia. They eventually merged with Congregation Beth Ahabah, an offshoot of Beth Shalom. There are three Orthodox Synagogues, Congregation Kol Emes, Keneseth Beth Israel, and Chabad of the Virginias.[68] There is an Orthodox Yeshivah K-12 school system known as Rudlin Torah academy. There are two Conservative synagogues, Beth El and Or Atid. There are two Reform synagogues, Beth Ahabah and Or Ami. Along with such religious congregations, there are a variety of other Jewish charitable, educational and social service institutions, each serving the Jewish and general communities. These include the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and Richmond Jewish Foundation.

There are several seminaries in Richmond. Three of these have banded together to become the Richmond Theological Consortium. This consortium consists of a theology school at Virginia Union University, a Presbyterian seminary called Union PSCE, and a Baptist seminary known as Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. The McCollough Theological Seminary of the United House of Prayer For All People is located in the Church Hill neighborhood of the City.

Three bishops sit in Richmond, those of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (the denomination's largest); the Richmond Area of the United Methodist Church (Virginia Annual Conference), the nation's second-largest and one of the oldest; and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, which encompasses all of central and southern Virginia and its eastern shore. The Presbytery of the James—Presbyterian Church (USA) – also is based in the Richmond area.

There are five masjids in the Greater Richmond area, accommodating the Muslim population. They are Islamic Center of Virginia (ICVA) in the south side, Islamic Society of Greater Richmond (ISGR) in the west end, Masjidullah in the north side, Masjid Bilal near downtown, and Masjid Ar-Rahman in the east end.[69]

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was penned in Richmond by Thomas Jefferson.

Economy

Richmond's strategic location on the James River, built on undulating hills at the rocky fall line separating the Piedmont and Tidewater regions of Virginia, provided a natural site for the development of commerce. The first European explorers came in 1607, from the Virginia Company of London. They discovered a fragrant weed grown by the natives, and tobacco became a lucrative commodity in the area. The trading post developed into a village, and by 1733 a town was laid out by William Byrd II and William Mayo. Its early buildings were built in the Shockoe Bottom area, near the present day Farmers Market on 17th Street.

Early trade grew rapidly, primarily in the agriculture sector, but also in the slave trade. Slaves were imported to Richmond's Manchester docks from Africa, and were bought and sold at the same market.

To facilitate the transfer of cargo from the flat-bottomed bateaux above the fall line to the ocean-faring ships below, George Washington helped design the James River and Kanawha Canal in the 1700s to bypass Richmond's rapids. The canal was later superseded by rail in the 1800s, and the railroads were laid on the original canal towpaths. In the 1900s, highways were constructed in the air over the same area.

Throughout these three centuries and three modes of transportation, downtown has always been a hub, with the Great Turning Basin for boats, the world's only triple crossing of rail lines, and the intersection of two major interstates.

Industries that defined Richmond

Richmond emerged from the smoldering rubble of the Civil War as an economic powerhouse, with iron front buildings and massive brick factories. Innovations of this era included the world's first cigarette-rolling machine, invented by James Albert Bonsack of Roanoke in 1880/81, and the world's first successful electric street car system.

Freed slaves and their descendants created a thriving African-American business community, led by such influential people as Maggie L. Walker (first woman to charter a bank in the U.S.) and John Mitchell, Jr. The city's historic Jackson Ward became known as the "Wall Street of Black America."

Law and finance have long been driving forces in the economy. The city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks, as well as offices for international companies such as Genworth Financial, CapitalOne, Philip Morris USA, and numerous other banks and brokerages. Richmond is also home to four of the largest law firms in the United States: Hunton & Williams, McGuireWoods, Williams Mullen, and LeClairRyan. Troutman Sanders, another leading global law firm, also has a significant office in the City of Richmond as does Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen, a personal injury law firm founded in 1910. In a 2006 report, Richmond was cited as having minimal evidence of becoming a Global city.[70]

Since the 1960s Richmond has been a prominent hub for advertising agencies and advertising related businesses, including The Martin Agency. As a result of local advertising agency support, VCU's graduate advertising school (VCU Brandcenter) is consistently ranked the #1 advertising graduate program in the country.[71]

Fortune 500 companies and other large corporations

Six Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Richmond area

The Greater Richmond area was named the third-best city for business by MarketWatch in September 2007, ranking behind only the Minneapolis and Denver areas and just above Boston. The area is home to six Fortune 500 companies, including: electric utility Dominion Resources; CarMax; Owens & Minor; Genworth Financial, the former insurance arm of GE; MeadWestvaco; and Altria Group.[6] However, only Dominion Resources and MeadWestvaco are headquartered within the city of Richmond; the others are located in the neighboring counties of Henrico and Hanover.

Five Fortune 1000 companies also have their headquarters located in the area. These include: Brink's; Massey Energy; Universal Corporation; and Markel. Of these, only Massey Energy and Universal Corporation are headquartered within the city of Richmond.[6]

Other Fortune 500 companies, while not headquartered in the area, do have a major presence here. These include SunTrust Bank (based in Atlanta), Capital One Financial Corporation (officially based in McLean, Virginia, but founded in Richmond with its operations center and most employees in the Richmond area), and the medical and pharmaceutical giant McKesson (based in San Francisco). Universal Corporation, also in the tobacco industry, has its corporate headquarters here as well. Capital One and Altria company's Philip Morris USA are two of the largest private Richmond-area employers. In 2008, Altria moved its corporate HQ from New York City to Richmond, adding another Fortune 500 corporation to Richmond's list. DuPont maintains a production facility in South Richmond known as the Spruance Plant.

Richmond is home to the rapidly developing Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, which opened in 1995 as an incubator facility for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Located adjacent to the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, the park currently has more than 575,000 square feet (53,400 m2) of research, laboratory and office space for a diverse tenant mix of companies, research institutes, government laboratories and non-profit organizations. The United Network for Organ Sharing, which maintains the nation's organ transplant waiting list, occupies one building in the park. Philip Morris USA opened a $350 million research and development facility in the park in 2007. Once fully developed, park officials expect the site to employ roughly 3,000 scientists, technicians and engineers.

Richmond is the home of the Ukrop's Super Market, a regional, family-owned chain of supermarkets known for its customer service and innovation. Ukrop's is a high-profile sponsor of community events, such as the Monument Avenue 10K, Easter on Parade, and the Ukrop's Christmas Parade. However, the chain announced that it would be sold to Giant Food Stores, a subsidiary of Dutch conglomerate Ahold, in February 2010.[72]

Cavalier Telephone, a telephone, internet, and digital television provider formed in Richmond in 1998, also has its headquarters in the city.

Economic developments

In recent years, Richmond has been attempting to revive its downtown. Recent downtown initiatives include the Canal Walk, a new Greater Richmond Convention Center, and expansion on both VCU campuses. Despite numerous controversies related to excessive employee salaries and wasteful spending of public tax money,[73] a new performing arts center, Richmond CenterStage[74], opened on September 12, 2009.[75] The complex included a renovation of the Carpenter Center and construction of a new multipurpose hall, community playhouse, and arts education center in parts of the old Thalhimers department store.[76] As planned by the Virginia Performing Arts Foundation (VAPAF), the publicly-funded arts center project now known as CenterStage has been mired in controversy, poor planning and questionable spending of money raised from a special citywide meals tax hike.[77]

The center was set to receive $25 million in 'City of the Future' funds from Mayor Doug Wilder, even though the current planners of CenterStage had yet to disclose annual administrative and operating expenses or initiate an artists endowment.[78] There are also few representatives from the area's performing arts community in key positions of authority within the project, leading critics to speculate that CenterStage is more of a real estate deal designed to prop up a failing convention center expansion than a worthwhile arts venture.[79]

In February 2006, MeadWestvaco announced that they would move from Stamford, Connecticut, to Richmond in 2008.[80] The company is building an 8–10 story office building downtown, near the Federal Reserve building.[81]

Arts and culture

Museums and art galleries

The Jefferson Davis Monument, located at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Davis Avenue in Richmond.

Richmond has a significant art community, and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation.[82] In addition to many art venues associated with the university, there are also several attractions nearby, including the Library of Virginia, the Valentine Richmond History Center, the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Richmond Symphony, and the Richmond Ballet. The Byrd Theatre in Carytown is a classical movie theater from the 1920s era that still features second-run movies on a regular basis, and is popular among the college student population, particularly because of its low ticket price of $1.99.

The Science Museum of Virginia, is also located on Broad Street near the Fan district. It is housed in the neoclassical Union Station, designed by Beaux-Arts-trained John Russell Pope in 1919. Adjacent to the Science Museum is the Richmond Children's Museum, a fun-filled museum with many hands-on activities.

As the former Capital of the Confederate States of America, Richmond is home to many museums and battlefields of the American Civil War. The Museum of the Confederacy, located near the Virginia State Capitol and the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, is in Court End along with the Davis Mansion, also known as the White House of the Confederacy; both today feature a wide variety of objects and material from the era. Near the riverfront is the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, the Civil War Battlefields National Park Visitors Center, and the Virginia War Memorial. There is a former slave trail along the river that leads to Ancarrow's Boat Ramp and Historic Site. The National Park Service's Richmond Civil War Visitor Center, in the Tredegar Iron Works, has three floors of exhibits and artifacts, films, a bookstore, picnic areas and more.

Other historical points of interest include St. John's Church, the site of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, features many of his writings and other artifacts of his life, particularly when he lived in the city as a child, a student, and a successful writer. The John Marshall House, the home of the former Chief Justice of the United States, is also located downtown and features many of his writings and objects from his life. Hollywood Cemetery is also the burial grounds of two U.S. Presidents as well as many other civil war officers and soldiers. The home of former Confederate General Robert E. Lee still stands on Franklin Street in downtown Richmond.

The city is also home to many monuments, most notably several along Monument Avenue in the Fan District. Other monuments of interest in the city include the A.P. Hill monument, the Bill "Bojangles" Robinson monument, the Christopher Columbus monument, and the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Dedicated in 1956, the Virginia War Memorial is also located on Belvedere near the riverfront, and is a monument to Virginians who died in battle in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Located near Byrd Park is the famous World War I Memorial Carillon, a 56 bell carillon tower.

Performing arts

  • Barksdale Theatre is Central Virginia's first nonprofit professional performing arts organization, founded in 1953 at the historic Hanover Tavern by Tom Carlin, Stewart Falconer, David and Priscilla ("Pete" and "Perky") Kilgore, Muriel McAuley and Pat Sharp.[83] When they began serving meals to lure Richmond residents out to Hanover, they created the nation's first dinner theater.[84][85] Barksdale also became the first performing arts organization in Virginia to open its doors to an integrated audience.[86] By 1960, four of the original co-founders had moved on. For the next 35 years, Barksdale was managed by Pete and Nancy Kilgore and Muriel McAuley. Today, Barksdale is recognized as Central Virginia's leading professional theater, with two home locations: Barksdale Theatre at Hanover Tavern and Barksdale Theatre at Willow Lawn.[87] In 1990, the Tavern was sold to the Hanover Tavern Foundation. In 1993, the founders retired, and John Glenn was named Artistic Director. In 1996, to accommodate a full restoration, Barksdale left the Tavern for new facilities at Willow Lawn. In 1997, John Glenn left to pursue other opportunities, and Randy Strawderman was hired to replace him. In 2001, leadership was transferred to Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway, Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively. After a ten-year separation, Barksdale returned theatrical programming to Hanover Tavern in January 2006, initiating a four-play Country Playhouse Season designed to complement its five-play Signature Season at Willow Lawn.[6]
  • Theatre IV is the Children's Theatre of Virginia, and was founded in 1975 by Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway who continue to hold the positions of Artistic and Manager directors. Theatre IV is one of the largest theaters in Virginia and the second largest children's theater in the nation, touring regularly throughout 32 states plus the District of Columbia.[88][89] In 1986, Theatre IV purchased the historic Empire Theatre in downtown Richmond and began a Family Playhouse series of mainstage (non-touring) productions. In 2001, Theatre IV assumed management of Barksdale Theatre.[87] The two nonprofit companies maintain independent missions, boards, budgets, audits and assets, while sharing a common professional staff.
  • Richmond Ballet - Founded in 1957.
  • Richmond Symphony
  • Virginia Opera - The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, founded in 1974. Presents eight mainstage performances every year at the Landmark Theater.
  • Richmond Department of Recreation and Parks presents an annual Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park.
  • S.P.A.R.C. - School Of The Performing Arts in the Richmond Community. SPARC was founded in 1981, and trained children to become "triple threats", meaning they were equally versed in singing, acting, and dancing. SPARC has become the largest community-based theater arts education program in Virginia and it offers classes to every age group, during the summer and throughout the year.
  • Richmond CenterStage, a new performing arts center planned to open in Downtown Richmond in 2009. The complex will include a renovation of the 1,700-seat Carpenter Theatre and construction of a new multipurpose hall, community playhouse, and arts education center in the location of the old Thalhimers department store.
  • Classic Amphitheatre at Strawberry Hill, the former summer concert venue located at Richmond International Raceway.
  • Metro Space Gallery, a new, cutting edge art gallery, featuring a variety of works from around the world. Located in the newly developing Historic Arts District in downtown Richmond, across the street from Theatre IV.
  • Quirk Gallery, Located in the Midtown section of Richmond, Quirk features exhibitions of innovative work by both established and emerging artists. Quirk opened in September 2005 and has since been listed by the New York Times as a notable gallery and eclectic retail spot.
  • Gallery 5, Gallery5 is a community oriented, socially motivated art gallery and performing arts center located in Richmond's Historic Jackson Ward. The gallery opened its doors on April 15, 2005 in an effort to save the life of a National Historic Landmark known as Steamer Company No. 5. Built in 1849, Steamer Company No. 5, is Virginia's oldest fire station and Richmond's oldest police station and jailhouse. This landmark has survived threats of demolition by the City of Richmond for over 3 decades. Without the dedication of volunteers over the past 35 years, an important piece of our city's history would have been lost. Gallery5 has transformed this esteemed relic into a vibrant maelstrom of sight and sound, hosting more visitors in the first few months of operation than during the entire 25 years of the former museum. On Richmond's "First Friday Art Walk", Gallery5 regularly attracts some of the largest, most diverse and enthusiastic crowds and has even been noted for holding the most highly-attended art events in Richmond's history. Gallery5 has received both national and international attention for its past exhibitions and has paved the way for positive change in its community through numerous campaigns, educational workshops, public art collectives and non-profit and grassroots focused programs. Gallery5 is currently operated by volunteers and is powered by a director that holds a relentless passion to preserve history. The founding executive director comes from a lineage of over 100 years of firefighting chiefs once stationed in this building. Brass poles and fire bells, horse and hand-drawn apparatus, jail cells and one of Richmond's oldest gallows are all hauntingly juxtaposed against a contemporary atmosphere. Breaking the conventions of a typical gallery space, Gallery5 offers a venue for all forms of visual and performing artists to convene, advancing the landmark's extraordinary history well into the 21st century.

Architecture

Richmond is home to many significant structures, including some designed by notable architects. The city contains diverse styles, including Greek Revival, Roman Revival, Romanesque, Georgian, Gothic, Tudor, Egyptian Revival, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Modernist, International, and Postmodern buildings.

Much of Richmond's early Georgian architecture was destroyed by fire in 1865. It is estimated that 25% of all buildings in Richmond were destroyed during this fire[90]. Even fewer now remain due to demolition that has taken place since Reconstruction. In spite of this, Richmond contains many historically significant buildings and districts. Architectural classicalism is heavily represented in all districts of the city, particularly in Downtown, the Fan, and the Museum District.

Several notable classical architects have designed buildings in Richmond. The Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau in 1785. John Russell Pope designed two buildings in the city, the Branch House and Union Station (also called Broad Street Station). The Branch House is a Monument Avenue mansion designed in the Tudor style which now serves as the home of the Virginia Center for Architecture. Union Station, designed in the Beaux-Arts style, is no longer a functioning station but is now home to the Science Museum of Virginia. (Main Street Station, designed by Wilson, Harris, and Richards, is still used for its original purpose.)

The Jefferson Hotel and the Commonwealth Club were both designed by the classically trained Beaux-Arts architects Carrère and Hastings. Many buildings on the University of Richmond campus, including Jeter Hall and Ryland Hall, were designed by Ralph Adams Cram, most famous for his Princeton University Chapel and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Robert Mills designed the Monumental Church on Broad Street. Richmond's urban residential neighborhoods also hold particular significance to he cities fabric. The fan, the museum district, and church hill (among others) are largely Greek revival single use town homes and mixed use or full retail/dining establishments. These districts are anchored by large streets such as Franklin Street, Cary Street, the Boulevard, and Monument Avenue.

Although Richmond is not known for any outstanding examples of Modernist architecture, there are several notable instances. Minoru Yamasaki, most famous for his World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, designed the Federal Reserve Building, a prominent downtown skyscraper. The firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill has designed two buildings: the Virginia Public Library and the Eighth and Main Building. The Robert Neutra-designed Rice House, a residence on a private island on the James River, remains Richmond's only International Style home.

VCU has plans to build a new medical addition designed by I.M. Pei starting in 2010.

Sports

Richmond Coliseum

Richmond does not have any major league professional sports teams. However, three minor league teams call the city home.

The Richmond Kickers, a United Soccer Leagues Second Division soccer team, began their 17th season in 2009 and play at University of Richmond Stadium. The Richmond Lions, a USA Rugby Division 2 rugby union team, play at Dorey Park in Varina, a Richmond suburb.

The city also is home to the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University's collegiate athletic teams, which compete at the Division I level, and Virginia Union University, which competes in Division II.

The Richmond Coliseum, a 13,000 plus seat multi-purpose arena in downtown Richmond, is the home of a large number of sporting events, concerts, festivals, and trade shows. It was also home to the Richmond Renegades of the Southern Professional Hockey League before the team folded following the 2008–9 season, as well as numerous other ice hockey teams before that, and will be the home of the Richmond Raiders of the American Indoor Football Association in 2010. The Colonial Athletic Association has hosted its annual men's basketball tournament at the Coliseum since 1990. The Coliseum has played host as a NCAA men's basketball tournament site and in 1994 played host to the women's basketball Final Four. In December 2006, WWE's Armageddon Live Pay-Per-View was held at the Coliseum.

The Diamond, a 12,134 seat ballpark on Boulevard, is home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Class AA Eastern League (an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) and the VCU Rams college baseball team playing in the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association. Previously, The Diamond was home to the International League's Richmond Braves from its opening until the Braves' relocation to Lawrenceville, Georgia, where they are now called the Gwinnett Braves. There have been talks that a new baseball stadium is going to be built next to Main Street Station on the James River in Shockoe Bottom.

The Stuart C. Siegel Center, on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in downtown Richmond, is the 7,500 plus seat home multi-purpose arena of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. The area also plays host to concerts and local and state high school basketball games and tournaments as well as several high school graduations in the surrounding area.

The Robins Center, a 9,071-seat multi-purpose arena, is home to the University of Richmond Spiders basketball. The Richmond Spiders won the Division 1-AA National Championship in football in 2008, defeating the University of Montana 24–7 for the school's first Division I championship in any sport. The team will play its final season at University of Richmond Stadium in 2009 before moving into a new stadium on campus in 2010.

The Arthur Ashe Athletic Center, a 6,000 seat multi-purpose arena named for tennis great and Richmond resident Arthur Ashe, is home to various local sporting events and concerts. In spring of 2010, it will be the temporary home to the Richmond Revolution of the Indoor Football League (not to be confused with the aforementioned Raiders) until the SportsQuest arena in nearby Chesterfield is completed for the 2011 season.[91]

Auto racing is also very popular in the area, and the Richmond International Raceway also hosts two annual NASCAR Sprint Cup races, IndyCar's "Suntrust Indy Challenge," as well as other community and sporting events.

Southside Speedway also sits just southwest of Richmond in Chesterfield County, and is a .33 mile oval short-track that features weekly stock car racing on Friday nights. Southside Speedway has acted as the breeding grounds for many past NASCAR legends including Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, and claims to be the home track of NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin. Richmond was considered as one of the possible resting places for the future NASCAR Hall of Fame, but it was ultimately awarded to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Colonial Downs is a horse racing track in New Kent, Virginia adjacent to Interstate 64, approximately 20 miles (32 km) east of Richmond's city limits. The track plays host to the Virginia Derby each July.

Richmond has played host to the Xterra (off-road triathlon) East Championship since 2000. Mountain bikers and Triathletes alike revel in the incredible trail system of the James River Park. Each June the best off-road Triathletes in the world converge on Richmond for the Xterra East Regional Championship bringing with them the Xterra Triathlon festival, including family events, athletic competitions, and a twilight concert.

Richmond is also the location of the North American Open Squash tournament.

Parks and outdoor recreation

The city operates one of the oldest municipal park systems in the country. The park system began when the city council voted in 1851 to acquire 7.5 acres (3.0 ha), now known as Monroe Park. Today, Monroe Park sits adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and is one of more than 40 parks comprising a total of more than 1,500 acres (610 ha).

Several parks are located along the James River, and the James River Parks System offers bike trails, hiking and nature trails, and many scenic overlooks along the river's route through the city. The mountain bike trail system in James River and Forest Hill parks is considered by professional riders to be one of the best urban trail systems in the country. The trails are used as part of the Xterra East Championship course for both the running and mountain biking portions of the off-road triathlon.

There are also parks on two major islands in the river: Belle Isle and Brown's Island. Belle Isle, at various former times a Powhatan fishing village, colonial-era horse race track, and Civil War prison camp, is the larger of the two, and contains many bike trails as well as a small cliff that is used for rock climbing instruction. One can walk the island and still see many of the remains of the Civil War prison camp, such as an arms storage room and a gun emplacement that was used to quell prisoner riots. Brown's Island is a smaller island and a popular venue of a large number of free outdoor concerts and festivals in the spring and summer, such as the weekly Friday Cheers concert series or the James River Beer and Seafood Festival.

Two other major parks in the city are Byrd Park and Maymont, located near the fan district of Richmond. Byrd Park features a one mile (1.6 km) running track, with exercise stops, a public dog park, and a number of small lakes for small boats, as well as two monuments, Buddha house, and an amphitheatre. Prominently featured in the park is the World War I Memorial Carillon, built in 1926 as a memorial to those that died in the war. Maymont, located adjacent to Byrd Park, is a 100 acre (40-hectare) Victorian estate with a museum, formal gardens, native wildlife exhibits, nature center, carriage collection, and children's farm. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is located adjacent to the city in Henrico County. Founded in 1984, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is located on 80 acres and features a glass conservatory, a rose garden, a healing garden, and an accessible-to-all children's garden. The Garden is a public place for the display and scientific study of plants. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of only two independent public botanical gardens in Virginia and is designated a state botanical garden.[92]

Other parks in the city include Joseph Bryan Park Azalea Garden, Forest Hill Park (former site of the Forest Hill Amusement Park), Chimborazo Park (site of the National Battlefield Headquarters), among others.

Several theme parks are also located near the city, including Kings Dominion to the north, and Busch Gardens to the east, near Williamsburg.

Media and popular culture

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is the local daily newspaper in Richmond, with a Sunday circulation of 215,000, owned by Media General. Style Weekly is a standard weekly publication covering popular culture, arts, and entertainment, owned by Landmark Communications. City Edition is a weekly news magazine distributed throughout Richmond that focuses on city government and civic life in the city. Richmond Magazine is a monthly magazine. RVA Magazine is the city's only independent art music and culture publication, also a monthly. The Richmond Free Press and the Voice cover the news from an African-American perspective. Spanish-language publications in the city include the newspaper, Centro.

The Richmond metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. As of 2010, the Richmond-Petersburg designated market area (DMA) is the 58th largest in the U.S. with 553,950 homes according to Nielsen Market Research.[93] The major network television affiliates are WTVR-TV 6 (CBS), WRIC-TV 8 (ABC), WWBT 12 (NBC), WRLH-TV 35 (Fox), and WUPV 65 (CW). Public Broadcasting Service stations include WCVE-TV 23 and WCVW 57. There are also a wide variety of radio stations in the Richmond area, catering to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.

Many films and television shows have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Richmond, including The Box, Finnegan Begin Again, Hannibal, The Jackal, Hearts in Atlantis, The Contender, Shadow Conspiracy, Evan Almighty, and Iron Jawed Angels.[94] Locations featured in the 1990s television cartoon, "Doug," are named after or inspired by areas in Richmond and nearby counties as creator Jim Jenkins was born and raised in Richmond.

Richmond's elite society has also been portrayed in various popular culture references, such as in 1920s novels by Ellen Glasgow and James Branch Cabell, or the 1990s television sitcom A Different World, which featured the character Whitley Gilbert, an obnoxious and wealthy African American debutante.[95]

Richmond has been home to many musicians, most notably GWAR, Lamb of God, Avail, and Carbon Leaf.

Government

Richmond city government consists of a city council with representatives from nine districts serving in a legislative and oversight capacity, as well as a popularly elected, at-large mayor serving as head of the executive branch. Citizens in each of the nine districts elect one council representative each to serve a two-year term. Beginning with the November 2008 election Council terms was lengthened to 4 years. The city council elects from among its members one member to serve as Council President and one to serve as Council Vice President. The city council meets at City Hall, located at 900 E. Broad St., 2nd Floor, on the second and fourth Mondays of every month, except August.

In 1977, a federal district court ruled in favor of Curtis Holt Jr. who had claimed the councils existing election process — an at large voting system — was racially biased. The verdict required the city to rebuild its council into 9 distinct wards. Within the year the city council switched from majority white to majority black, reflecting the city's populace. This new city council elected Richmond's first black mayor, Henry L. Marsh.

Richmond's government changed in 2004 from a council-manager form of government to an at-large, popularly elected Mayor. In a landslide election, incumbent mayor Rudy McCollum was defeated by L. Douglas Wilder, who previously served Virginia as the first elected African American governor in the United States since Reconstruction. The current mayor of Richmond is Dwight Clinton Jones. The mayor is not a part of the Richmond City Council.

As of March 2009, the Richmond City Council consisted of: Kathy C. Graziano, 4th District, President of Council; Ellen F. Robertson, 6th District, Vice-President of Council; Bruce Tyler, 1st District; Charles R. Samuels, 2nd District; Chris A. Hilbert, 3rd District; E. Martin (Marty) Jewell, 5th District; Cynthia I Newbille, 7th District; Reva M. Trammell, 8th District; and Douglas G. Conner Jr., 9th District.

Education

The city of Richmond operates 28 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and eight high schools, serving a total student population of 24,000 students.[96]

Private schools

Colleges and universities

The Richmond area has many major institutions of higher education, including Virginia Commonwealth University (public), University of Richmond (private), Virginia Union University (private), Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education (private), and the Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond (BTSR—private). Several community colleges are found in the metro area, including J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and John Tyler Community College (Chesterfield County). In addition, there are several Technical Colleges in Richmond including ITT Technical Institute, ECPI College of Technology and Beta Tech.

Virginia State University is located about 20 miles (32 km) south of Richmond, in the suburb of Ettrick, just outside of Petersburg. Randolph-Macon College is located about 15 miles (24 km) north of Richmond, in the incorporated town of Ashland.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Richmond's downtown Main Street Station in 1971.

The Greater Richmond area is served by the Richmond International Airport (IATA: RICICAO: KRIC), located in nearby Sandston, seven miles (11 km) southeast of Richmond and within an hour drive of historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Richmond International is now served by nine airlines with over 200 daily flights provide non-stop service to major destination markets and connecting flights to destinations worldwide. A record 3.3 million passengers used Richmond International Airport in 2006, a 13% increase over 2005.

Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound Lines. Local transit and paratransit bus service in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties is provided by the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). The GRTC, however, serves only small parts of the suburban counties. The far West End (Innsbrook and Short Pump) and almost all of Chesterfield County have no public transportation despite dense housing, retail, and office development. Recent statistics in the Richmond Times-Dispatch have shown that the vast majority of GRTC riders ride the bus because they do not own a car and have no other choice.

The Richmond area also has two railroad stations served by Amtrak. Each station receives regular service from north of Richmond from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. The suburban Staples Mill Road Station is located on a major north-south freight line and receives all service to and from all points south including, Raleigh, Durham, Savannah, Newport News, Williamsburg and Florida. Richmond's only railway station located within the city limits, the historic Main Street Station, was renovated in 2004.[97] As of 2010, the station can only receives trains headed to and from Newport News and Williamsburg due to track layout. As a result, the Staples Mill Road station receives more trains and serves more passengers overall.

Richmond also benefits from an excellent position in reference to the state's transportation network, lying at the junction of east-west Interstate 64 and north-south Interstate 95, two of the most heavily traveled highways in the state, as well as along several major rail lines. Other major highways passing through Richmond include U.S. Routes 1, 33, 60, 250, 301 and 360.

Utilities

Electricity in the Richmond Metro area is provided by Dominion Virginia Power. The company, based in Richmond, is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, serving retail energy customers in nine states. Electricity is provided in the Richmond area primarily by the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station and Surry Nuclear Generating Station, as well as a coal-fired station in Chester, Virginia. These three plants provide a total of 4,453 megawatts of power. Several other natural gas plants provide extra power during times of peak demand. These include a facility in Chester, in Surry, and two plants in Richmond (Gravel Neck and Darbytown).[98]

Natural Gas in the Richmond Metro area is provided by the city's Department of Public Utilities and also serves portions of Henrico and Chesterfield counties.

Water is provided by the city's Department of Public Utilities, and is one of the largest water producers in Virginia, with a modern plant that can treat up to 132 million gallons of water a day from the James River.[99] The facility also provides water to the surrounding area through wholesale contracts with Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover counties. Overall, this results in a facility that provides water for approximately 500,000 people.

The wastewater treatment plant and distribution system of water mains, pumping stations and storage facilities provide water to approximately 62,000 customers in the city. There is also a wastewater treatment plant located on the south bank of the James River. This plant can treat up to 70 million gallons of water per day of sanitary sewage and stormwater before returning it to the river. The wastewater utility also operates and maintains 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of sanitary sewer, pumping stations, 38 miles (61 km) of intercepting sewer lines, and the Shockoe Retention Basin, a 44-million-gallon stormwater reservoir used during heavy rains.

Sister cities

Richmond has six sister cities, as designated by the Sister Cities International, Inc.:[100]

See also

References

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External links

Coordinates: 37°32′27.5″N 77°25′58.4″W / 37.540972°N 77.432889°W / 37.540972; -77.432889


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RICHMOND, the capital of Virginia, U.S.A., the countyseat of Henrico county, and a port of entry, on the James river (at the head of navigation), about ioo m. S. by W. of Washington, D.C., and about 125 m. by water from the Atlantic Ocean. Pop. (1850) 27,570; (1860) 37,910; (1870) 51,038; (1880) 63,600; (1890) 81,388; (1900) 85,050, of whom 32,230 were negroes and 2865 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 127,628. Richmond is served by the Atlantic Coast Line, the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Seaboard Air Line, the Southern and the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac railways, and by the Old Dominion, the Virginia Navigation and the Chesapeake steamship lines. The city has a beautiful situation on the hilly ground (maximum elevation, about 250 ft. above sea-level) along the north and east banks of the James, at a bend where the river changes its south-easterly course for one almost due south. It occupies seven "hills, from which fact it has been called " the Modern Rome." The western stretch of the river, opposite the city, breaks into rapids which have a fall of about 116 ft. in 9 m. and provide abundant water power. Belle Isle (the site of a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War), about a m. long by about 4 m. wide, is in this part of the river; a little farther down stream are a group of small islets, and opposite the south-eastern boundary of the city is Mayo's Island. Within the city's lines the river is crossed by two bridges (to Manchester) for vehicles and pedestrians, and three railway bridges. The river has been improved by Federal engineers since 1870; in June 1909 (up to which time $ 1 ,799, 0 33 had been expended for improvements) there was a channel ioo ft. wide and 18 ft. deep, nearly continuously from Hampton Roads to the Richmond wharf, and the maximum draft at low water was 16.1 ft.

About three-fourths of the city's total street mileage (120 m.) is paved, Belgian block or macadam being used on the principal thoroughfares. About 637.8 acres are devoted to city parks, among which are William Byrd Park (300 acres), in the western part of the city, Joseph Bryan Park (262.6 acres), Chimborazo Park (29 acres), near its eastern boundary, Gambles Hill Park (8.8 acres), Monroe Square (72 acres), Jefferson Park (6.3 acres) and Marshall Square (7 acres). The State Capitol Square (to acres) is not owned by the city. Half a mile N.W. of the city are the Fair Grounds, where a state fair is held annually.

Of Richmond's public buildings, several have great historic interest. St John's Episcopal church, built in 1740 (and sub sequently much enlarged), is noted especially as the meetingplace of the Virginia Convention of March 1775, before which Patrick Henry made a famous speech, ending, " I know not what course others may take, but as for me, Give me liberty, or give me death !" The Capitol (begun in 1785 and completed in 1792 - the wings were added in 1906) was designed from a model and plans of the Maison Carree, at Nimes, supplied by Thomas Jefferson, while he was minister to France. Aaron Burr was tried for treason and then for misdemeanour in this building in 1807, the Virginia secession convention met here in 1861, and during the Civil War the sessions of the Confederate Congress were held here. In its rotunda is Jean Antoine Houdon's full-length marble statue of Washington, provided for by the Virginia General Assembly in 1784, and erected in 1796; its base bears a fine inscription written by James Madison. In a niche is a Houdon bust of Lafayette, a replica of the original presented to the city of Paris by the state of Virginia. The Old Stone House (the oldest building in the city) was erected as a residence in 1737, and is now used for a museum. Masons' Hall, whose corner-stone was laid in 1785, is said to be the oldest exclusively Masonic building in the United States. The Executive Mansion of the Confederate States of America, built in 1819, purchased by the city in 1862, and leased to the Confederate government and occupied by President Jefferson Davis in 1862-65, was acquired in 1890 by the Confederate Memorial Library Society, and is now a Confederate Museum with a room for each state of the Confederacy and a general library in the " Solid South " room; it has valuable historical papers, collected by the Southern Historical Society, and the society has published a Calendar of Confederate Papers (1908). The former residence of ChiefJustice John Marshall, built in 1795, is still standing; and the Lee Mansion, which was the war-time residence of General Robert E. Lee's family, has been occupied, since 1893, by the Virginia Historical Society (organized 1831; reorganized 1847) as the repository of a valuable library and collection of portraits of historical interest. Libby Prison, which stood on the northern bank of a canal, near the river, in the eastern part of the city, was taken down in 1888-89, and its materials removed to Chicago, where it was reconstructed, in as nearly as possible its original form, and became the Libby Prison War Museum.' The Valentine Museum is in a house on Eleventh and Clay Streets, in which Aaron Burr was entertained while he was on trial, and which with $50,000 and his collections was devised to a board of trustees in 1892 by Mann S. Valentine. The museum includes 3300 books, many being of the 15th and 16th centuries, a department of engravings, a Virginia Room with portraits and relics, some tapestries, an excellent collection of casts and valuable American archaeological specimens.

The more modern buildings include the City Hall, a fine granite structure (completed in 1893), with a tower 180 ft. tall; the Library building which houses the state library (about 80,000 volumes, with many portraits and a valuable collection of old manuscripts), the State Law Library and also the offices of most, of the state officials; the Post-Office and Customs House; the State Penitentiary; the Chamber of Commerce; and, among the religious edifices, the Sacred Heart Cathedral (Roman Catholic), presented to the city by Mr and Mrs Thomas F. Ryan; the Monumental Church, built on the site of the Richmond Theatre, in the burning of which, in 1811, ActingGovernor George W. Smith and fifty-nine others lost their lives; and St Paul's Church, where Jefferson Davis was attending services, on the 2nd of April 1865, when he received news from 1 As built in Richmond in 1845 by Luther Libby, it was a brick structure, three storeys high in front and four in the rear. It had six rooms, each about 100 X45 ft., was used as a tobacco warehouse and a ship-chandlery until 1861, and then until the capture of Richmond was used as a prison, chiefly for Federal officers. Frequently it was terribly overcrowded (by as many as 1200 prisoners at a time), the inmates often suffered great privations, and many died or were physically disabled for the remainder of their lives.

General Lee that General Grant had broken through the lines at Petersburg and that Richmond must be evacuated. Rose mary Library was given to the city by Thomas Nelson Page in memory of his wife, who died in 1888.

Richmond has many fine monuments and statues of historic interest and artistic merit, the most noteworthy of the former being the Washington Monument, in Capitol Square. In 1850 the commission accepted the model submitted by Thomas Crawford (1814-1857), an American sculptor, the corner-stone of the monument was laid in that year, and the equestrian statue of Washington, with sub-statues of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, was unveiled on the 22nd of February 1858. Thereafter were added sub-statues of Chief-Justice John Marshall and George Mason (1726-1792) by Crawford, and statues of Andrew Lewis (1730-1781) and Thomas Nelson (1738-1789), and six allegorical subjects, by Randolph Rogers (1825-1892), the monument being completed in 1869, at a cost of about $260,000, of which about $47,000 represented private gifts and the interest thereon. The greatest height of the monument is 60 ft., and the diameter of its base is 86 ft. In Capitol Square are also a marble statue of Henry Clay, by Joel T. Hart (1810-1877), a bronze statue of Stonewall Jackson, by John Henry Foley (1818-1874), an English sculptor, " presented to the city by English gentlemen " (Hon. A. J. Beresford-Hope and others) and unveiled in 1875; a statue of Hunter Holmes McGuire (1835-1900), a famous Virginia surgeon; and a statue of William Smith (1796-1887), governor of Virginia in 1846-49 and in 1864-65. In Monroe Park is a statue by E. V. Valentine of Brig.-General Williams Carter Wickham (1820-1888) of the Confederate army. Another noteworthy monument is the noble equestrian statue of General Robert E. Lee, surmounting a lofty granite pedestal at the head of Franklin Street. This statue, by Marius Jean Antonin Mercie (b. 1845), was unveiled in 1890. Adjacent is an equestrian statue of General J. E. B. Stuart, by Frederick Moynihan, and at the west end of Monument Avenue is the Jefferson Davis Monument, by W. C. Nowland, in front of which is a statue of Jefferson Davis, by E. V. Valentine. On Libby Hill, in the south-eastern part of the city, is a monument to the private soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.

In Hollywood Cemetery (dedicated in 1849) are the graves of many famous men, including presidents James Monroe and John Tyler; Jefferson Davis, John Randolph of Roanoke, the Confederate generals, A. P. Hill, J. E. B. Stuart and George E. Pickett; Commodore Matthew F. Maury (1806-1873); James A. Seddon (1815-1880), Secretary of War of the Confederate States in 1862-64; and John R. Thompson (1823-1873), widely known in his day as a poet and as the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in 1847-59. Here, too, are buried about 16,000 Confederate soldiers (to whose memory there is a massive pyramid of undressed granite, 40 ft. sq. at the base and 90 ft. high). In the north-eastern part of the city is Oakwood Cemetery, in which are the graves of about 18,000 Confederate soldiers. Two miles north-east of the city is the National Cemetery, with graves of 6571 Federal soldiers (5700 unknown) most of whom were killed in the actions near Richmond.

Richmond is the seat of Richmond College (opened in 1832; chartered in 1840; and co-educational since 1898), which in 1909-10 had 21 instructors and 341 students, of whom 55 were in the School of Law (established 1870; re-established 1890); the Woman's College (Baptist; opened in 1854), which in 1909-10 had 20 instructors and 275 students; the Virginia Mechanics' Institute (1856), including a Night School of Technology; the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Presbyterian; opened in 1824 and removed to Richmond in 1898 from Hampden-Sidney), which in 1909-10 had 7 instructors and 80 students; the Medical College of Virginia, (founded in 1838), which has medical, dental and pharmaceutical departments, and in 1909-10 had 50 teachers and 253 students; the University College of Medicine (1893), which has departments of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, and in 1909-10 had 57 teachers and 220 students; the Hartshorn Memorial College (Baptist), for women; and, for negroes, Virginia Union University, founded in 1899.

Many periodicals (including several religious weeklies) are published in Richmond. The principal newspapers are the Times- Dispatch (Democratic; Dispatch, 1850; Times, 1886; consolidated in 1903) and the News-Leader (Democratic, 1899). Among the city's clubs are the Westmoreland and the Commonwealth.

The city's charitable institutions include the Memorial (1903), Virginia Sheltering Arms (1889) and St Luke's hospitals, the Retreat for the Sick (1877), the Eye, Nose, Ear and Throat Infirmary (1880), the Confederate Soldiers' Home (1884), supported jointly by the state and the city, a Home for Needy Confederate Women (1900), the City Almshouse and Hospital, and several orphanages and homes for the aged.

Richmond is the leading manufacturing city of Virginia, the value of its factory products in 1905 being 828,202,607, an increase of 22.4% since 1900 and nearly 19% of the value of the state's factory products in this year. The chief industry is the manufacture of tobacco for smoking and chewing, of cigars and cigarettes and of snuff. There are large iron and steel works here, notably the Tredegar Iron Works. Other important manufactures, with their product-values in 1905, are lumber and planing-mill products, $5 08 ,953; fancy and paper boxes and wooden packing boxes, $432,522; coffee and spices, 8245,689; foundry and machineshop products, $238,576; and saddlery and harness, $235,839. Richmond is the port of entry for the District of Richmond; in 1907 its imports were valued at 8913,234 and its exports at 8158,275; in 1909, its imports at $693,822 and its exports at $ 2 4,39 0. The city has a large jobbing and retail trade.

Richmond is governed under a charter of 1870 with amendments. The mayor is elected for two years and has the powers and authority in criminal cases of a justice of the peace. The city council is composed of a common council (five members from each ward, elected for two years) and of a board of aldermen (three members from each ward to be elected for four years). Other elective officers are the mayor, city treasurer, city sergeant, commonwealth attorney, city collector, city auditor, sheriff and high constable, elected for four years; and clerks of the various courts elected for eight years. The commissioner of the revenue is appointed for a term of four years by the judge of the corporation court. Three justices of the peace are elected from each ward for a term of two years. The city council appoints an attorney for the corporation, a city engineer, a city clerk, a police justice, a board of fire commissioners and a board of police commissioners, one from each ward, who have control of the fire and police departments, respectively, and a number of other officers. The city owns its gas works, water works and an electric-lighting plant (1910) for municipal lighting. The debt limit is set by the city charter at 18% of the assessed value of the taxable real estate of the city. In 1909 the taxable real estate and personal property was valued at $108,663,716, and the city had no floating debt; on the 1st of February 1910, there were 810,706,318 worth of bonds outstanding, and the sinking fund was 82,011,857.

An exploring party from Jamestown, under command of Captain Christopher Newport (c. 1565-1617), and including Captain John Smith, sailed up the James river in 1607, and on the 3rd of June erected a cross on one of the small islands opposite the site of the present city. The first permanent settlement within the present limits of the city was made in 1609 in the district long known as Rockett's. Later in the same year Captain Smith bought from the Indians a tract of land on the east bank of the river, about 3 m. below this settlement, and near the site of the present Powhatan. This tract he named " Nonesuch," and here he attempted to establish a small body of soldiers who had occupied a less favourable site in the vicinity; but they objected to the change and, being attacked by the Indians, sought the protection of Smith, who made prisoners of their leaders, with the result, apparently, that the settlement was abandoned. In 1645 Fort Charles was erected at the falls of the James as a frontier defence. In 1676, during " Bacon's Rebellion," a party of Virginians under Bacon's command killed about 150 Indians who were defending a fort on a hill a short distance east of the site of Richmond in the " Battle of Bloody Run," so called because the blood of the slain savages is said to have coloured the brook (or " run ") at the base of the hill. Colonel William Byrd,' who owned much land along the 1 The Byrds and their ancestors, the Steggs, were conspicuous in the early history of Virginia. The first of the family was Thomas Stegg (or Stegge) (d. 1651), born in England, who became an Indian trader on the James river as early as 1637, and had his home near what is now the village of Westover, Charles City county. He left his estate to his son Thomas (d. 1670), who settled at the falls of the James in 1661, and was auditor-general in 1664-1670. He was succeeded by his nephew, William Byrd (1652-1704), who was born in London, went to Virginia about 1670, became a successful Indian trader, was a member of the House of Burgesses in 16 771682, was a supporter of Nathaniel Bacon at the beginning of James river, at the falls, visited: the tract in September 1733, and decided to found there the town of Richmond, at the same time selecting and naming the present site of Petersburg. The name Richmond was suggested probably by the similarity of the site to that of Richmond on the Thames. The settlement was laid out in April 1737 by Major William Mayo (c. 1685-1744), and was incorporated as a town in 1742. The public records of the state were removed thither in 1777 from Williamsburg, and in May 1779 Richmond was made the capital. On the 5th of January 1781 the town was partly burned by a force of about Boo British troops under Gen. Benedict Arnold, the 200 or 300 Virginians offering little resistance, and much of the damage being done by Lieutenant-Colonel John G. Simcoe's celebrated Rangers. Richmond was first chartered as a city in 1782, and in 1788 it was allowed a representative in the House of Delegates.

The importance of Richmond during the Civil War was principally due to its having been made the capital of the Confederate States (by act of the Provisional Government on the 8th of May 1861). Its nearness to Washington, the material and manufacturing resources concentrated in it, and the moral importance attached to its possession by both sides, caused it to be regarded as the centre of gravity of the military operations in the east to which the greatest leaders and the finest armies were devoted from 1861 to 1865. (See American Civil War.) The city's system of defences, which began to take form in May 1861, included a line of 17 heavy batteries, completely encircling it at an average distance of about 2 m.; another line of smaller batteries and trenches, from about a mile (or less) to about 2 m. beyond the heavy batteries, and practically unbroken from the north bank of the James (west of the city) to about 1 m. west of that river (south of the city); and the outer works, approximately paralleling the inner line, at distances of from 2 to 3 m. from this line north and east of the city. There was much confusion and lawlessness in Richmond during the earlier stages of the war. The city's police force was unable to cope with the situation created by the influx of soldiers, gamblers and adventurers, and on the 1st of March 1862 President Davis (by authority of a secret Act of the Confederate Congress passed on the 2nd of February) declared martial law in the city and the country within a radius of io m., suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and appointed General John H. Winder (1800-1865) to enforce military rule. General Winder's arbitrary exercise of his power was, however, resented so vigorously by the citizens that on the 19th of April the Confederate Congress materially modified the law under which he received these powers from the president. The opening of M'Clellan's Peninsula Campaign (see Yorktown; Seven Days, &c.) in 1862 caused great apprehension in Richmond, and in May 1862 some of the government records were packed up and preparations made to ship them to a place of safety. The approach of the " Monitor " and the Union gunboats up the James river caused a partial and temporary panic; President Davis appointed a day for prayer, and the families of some of the cabinet secretaries and many citizens fled the city precipitately; but confidence, restored by " Bacon's Rebellion," was auditor-general of the colony from 1687 until his death, and was a member of the committee which founded the College of William and Mary. His residence, within the limits of the present city of Richmond, was preserved until about 1850. His son William (1674-1744), the founder of Richmond - and above referred to - was educated in England; returned to Virginia in 1696; succeeded his father as auditor-general of the colony, and was receiver-general in 1705-1716. In 1727 he was appointed one of the commission (of which William Fitzwilliams and William Dandridge were the other members) to mark the boundary between North Carolina and Virginia, concerning which undertaking he wrote (probably in 1737) The History of the Dividing Line. This with his other publications, A Journey to the Land of Eden and A Progress to the Mines, was published at Petersburg, Va., in 1841, and again (New York, 1901) as The Writings of Colonel William Byrd of Westover in Virginia, edited by John S. Bassett, and including an extended sketch of the Byrd family. Concerning Byrd's style as a writer, Professor Bassett says: " It would be hard to find before Franklin a better master of the art of writing clear, forceful and charming English." the checking of the fleet at Drewry's Bluff (Fort Darling), about 8 m. below the city, on the 15th of May 1862, was increased by the battle of Fair Oaks and the Seven Days, after which the Army of the Potomac retreated. Unsuccessful attempts were made in February and March 1864 to free the Federal prisoners in Richmond by means of cavalry raids. The most important of these was that of General H. Judson Kilpatrick, a portion of whose force, under Col. Ulric Dahlgren (b. 1842), was annihilated, Dahlgren being killed (2nd March).

General U. S. Grant began the final campaign against Richmond in May 1864 (see Wilderness and Petersburg). Sheridan's cavalry, during the " Richmond Raid," carried the city's outer defences (May 12), but found, the river line too strong to be taken by assault and moved away. In June Grant's army crossed the James and attacked Lee in Petersburg. Then followed many months of unintermittent pressure upon both Petersburg and Richmond. General Benjamin F. Butler captured the southern outer line of the Richmond defences on the 29th of September 1864. On the 2nd of April 1865 Petersburg fell. Richmond was evacuated that night, after the ironclads, the bridges and many of the military and tobacco store-houses had been set on fire by order of General R. S. Ewell, so that when the Federal troops, under General Godfrey Weitzel (1835-1884) entered the city on the following morning (3rd April) a. serious conflagration was under way, which was not extinguished until about one-third of the city, including several of its historic buildings, had been destroyed. During the war the principal iron foundry of the Confederacy (Tredegar Iron Works) was in Richmond, and here most of the cannon used by the Confederate armies were cast. In 1910 the city of Manchester was annexed.

See William W. Henry, " Richmond on the James " in Historic Towns of the Southern States (New York, 1900), edited by Lyman P. Powell; and Samuel Mordecai, Richmond in By-Gone Days (Richmond, 1856; 2nd ed., 1860).


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City of Richmond
{{border|Official flag of City of Richmond}}
Official seal of City of Richmond
Flag Seal
Nickname: "River City, Cap City"
Motto: "Sic Itur Ad Astra

(Thus do we reach the stars)"

Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Coordinates: 37°31′58.8″N, 77°28′1.2″WLatitude: 37°31′58.8″N
Longitude: 77°28′1.2″W
Country United States
State Virginia
Government  
 - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I)
Population  
 - City (2006) 192,913 (estimate)
 - Urban 1,045,250
 - Metro 1,194,008
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Website: http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/

Richmond (IPA: /ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. Like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, it is an independent city and not part of any county (Richmond County is unrelated, and located more than 53 miles (85 km) away in the northeast region of the state). Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Greater Richmond area. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield Counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64 in central Virginia. As of 2006, the city's estimated population is 192,913, with a metro area population of approximately 1.2 million.

The site of Richmond, at the fall line of the James River in the Piedmont region of Virginia, was briefly settled by English settlers from Jamestown in 1607, near the site of a significant native settlement. The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia in 1780. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's, "Give me liberty or give me death," speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1779; the latter of which was written by Thomas Jefferson in the city. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America, and many important civil war landmarks remain in the city today.

Richmond's economy is primarily driven by law, finance, and government with several notable legal and banking firms, as well as federal, state, and local governmental agenices, located in the downtown area. The Richmond area was ranked 3rd best city for business by MarketWatch in 2007. Richmond is one of twelve cities in the United States to be home to a Federal Reserve Bank. There are also nine Fortune 500, and thirteen Fortune 1000 companies, in the city. Richmond is also home to several smaller companies which contribute to its small town, friendly, southern atmosphere.

Residents of the city are commonly referred to as Richmonders, and they may refer to their city in everyday language as, RVA, RIC, (its airport code) or The 804 (its area code).

Contents

History

Main article: History of Richmond, Virginia
The Christopher Newport Cross monument on the canal, commemorating the cross erected at the current site of Richmond by an English exploration party that claimed the site and the river for King James in 1607. The party was led by Capt. Christopher Newport and Capt. John Smith.
In 1606, James I granted a royal charter to the Virginia Company of London to settle colonists in North America.[1] After the first permanent English settlement was established in April, 1607, at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport and Captain John Smith led explorers northwest up the James River, and on June 3, 1607, erected a cross on one of the small islands in the middle of the part of the river that runs through today's downtown area. The first permanent settlement within the present limits of the city was made in 1609 in the district known as Rockett's.[2] Before 1607, Indian tribes of the Powhatan Confederacy had lived in the region. For centuries, the tribe recognized the value of this site, rich in natural beauty. They knew it as a place to hunt, fish, play, and trade, and they called it "Shocquohocan,", or Shockoe.[2][3]

Later the same year, Captain Smith bought a tract of land on the east bank of the river from the Indians, about 3 miles (4.8 km) from the initial settlement. He named this tract, "Nonesuch," and attempted to establish a small garrison, which was later abandoned due to ongoing attacks by the Indians. In 1645, Fort Charles was erected at the falls of the James – the highest navigable point of the James River – as a frontier defense. New settlers moved in, and the community grew into a bustling trading post for furs, hides, and tobacco.[2][3]

In 1673, William Byrd I was granted lands on the James River that included the area around Falls that would become Richmond and already included small settlements. Byrd was a well-connected Indian trader in the area and established a fort on the site. William Byrd II inherited his father's land in 1704, and in 1737 founded the town of Richmond at the Falls of the James and commissioned Major William Mayo to lay out the original town grid. Byrd named the city Richmond after the town of Richmond in England (a suburb of London) because the view of the James River was strikingly similar to the view of the River Thames from Richmond, England, where he had spent time during his youth. The settlement was laid out in April, 1737, and was incorporated as a town in 1742.[2][3]

Revolutionary War

Patrick Henry delivering his, "Liberty or Death," speech at St. John's Church in Richmond, helping to ignite the American Revolution.

In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous, "Give me Liberty or Give me Death," speech in St. John's Church in Richmond that was crucial for deciding Virginia's (then the largest of the 13 colonies) participation in the First Continental Congress and setting the course for revolution and independence. Thomas Jefferson, who would soon write the United States Declaration of Independence, and George Washington, who would soon command the Continental Army,and Ajoya Speight were in attendance at this critical moment on the path to the American Revolution.[4]

On April 18, 1780, as Virginia’s population moves further west, the state capital was moved from the colonial capital of Williamsburg to Richmond, to provide a more centralized location for commerce, as well as to isolate the capital from British attack.[5] In 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops causing Governor Thomas Jefferson to flee the city. Yet Richmond shortly recovered and, by 1782, Richmond was once again a thriving city.[6]

In 1786, one of the most important and influential passages of legislation in American history was passed at the temporary state capital in Richmond, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and sponsored by James Madison, the statute was the basis for the separation of church and state, and led to freedom of religion for all Americans as protected in the religion clause in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. Its importance is recognized annually by the President of The United States, with January 16 established as National Religious Freedom Day.[7]

The Virginia Capitol Building, designed by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau.

The Virginia State Capitol building, designed by Thomas Jefferson and Charles-Louis Clérisseau, was completed in 1788. It is the second-oldest US statehouse in continuous use (Maryland's is the oldest) and was the first US government building built in the neo-classical Roman style of architecture, setting the trend for other state houses and the federal government buildings (including the White House and The Capitol) in Washington. The state capitol is one of thirteen in the United States without a dome and underwent a complete renovation which was completed in May 2007.[8]

After the revolutionary war, Richmond emerged an important industrial center; it also became a crossroads of transportation and commerce, much of this tied to its role as a major hub in the Transatlantic slave trade. George Washington proposed and received the support of the Virginia legislature for the establishment of the James River and Kanawha Canal, the first canal system to be established in the U.S. The canal allowed goods and services coming up the James River to be navigated around the falls at Richmond and connect Richmond and the eastern part of Virginia with the west. As a result Richmond became home to some of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country, including iron works and flour mills, the largest facilities of their kind in the south. Canal traffic peaked in the 1860s and slowly gave way to railroads, allowing Richmond to become a major railroad crossroads, eventually including the site of the world's first triple railroad crossing.[9] The Canal officially ceased operations in the 1880s, although portions of the canal have been preserved and rebuilt by 1998–1999, spurring tourism and economic development along the old canal route in downtown Richmond.[10]



Civil War and Reconstruction

File:Richmond va 1865.jpg
Shells of the buildings of Richmond, silhouetted against a dark sky after the destruction by Confederates fleeing advancing Union forces, 1865.
Main article: Richmond in the Civil War

The resistance to the slave trade was growing by the mid-nineteenth century; in one famous case in 1848, Henry “Box” Brown made history by having himself nailed into a small box and shipped from Richmond to abolitionists in Philadelphia, escaping slavery.[11]

At the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, the strategic location of the Tredegar Iron Works was one of the primary factors in the decision to make Richmond the Capital of the Confederacy.[12] From this arsenal came the 723 tons of armor plating that covered the CSS Virginia, the world’s first ironclad used in war, as well as much of the Confederates' heavy ordnance machinery.[13] In February, 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as President of the Confederate States of America in Montgomery, the first Confederate capital. In the early morning of April 12, 1861, the Confederate army fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, and the Civil War had begun. On April 17, 1861, Virginia seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States, and soon thereafter the Confederate government moved its capital to Richmond.[14]

The Seven Days Battle, in which Union General McClellan threatened Richmond and came very near but ultimately failed to take the city, followed in late June and early July of 1862. Three years later on April 3, 1865, Ulysses S. Grant and the Union Army captured Richmond, and the state capital was then relocated to Danville. Six days later, Robert E. Lee's retreating Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House, symbolically ending the war. On April 2, 1865, about 25% of the city's buildings were destroyed in a fire set by retreating Confederate soldiers. Union soldiers put out the fires as they entered the city.[14]

File:Post245.jpg
A historic postcard showing electric trolley-powered streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, where Frank J. Sprague successfully demonstrated his new system on the hills in 1888. The intersection shown is at 8th & Broad Streets.

After the Civil War, Richmond entered a phase of recovery and reconstruction. Monument Avenue was laid out in 1887, with a series of monuments at various intersections honoring the city's Confederate heroes, included (east to west) J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Matthew F. Maury.[15] Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of both Stuart and Davis.

Contributing to Richmond's industrial reconstruction was the first successful electrically-powered trolley system in the United States, the Richmond Union Passenger Railway. Designed by electric power pioneer Frank J. Sprague, the trolley system opened its first line in 1888, and electric streetcar lines rapidly spread to other cities.[16] Sprague's system used an overhead wire and trolley pole to collect current, with electric motors on the car's trucks.[17]

Twentieth Century

By the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the city's population had reached 85,050 in 5 square miles, making it the most densely populated city in the southern United States.[18]

In 1903, African-American businesswoman and financier Maggie L. Walker chartered St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, and served as its first president, as well as the first female bank president in the United States. Today, the bank is called the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company, and it is the oldest surviving African-American bank in the U.S. The Governor's School in Richmond City is also dedicated to her name.[19]

In 1910, the former city of Manchester was consolidated with the city of Richmond, and in 1914, the city annexed the Barton Heights, Ginter Park, and Highland Park areas of Henrico County.[20]

In May of 1914, Richmond became the headquarters of the Fifth District of the Federal Reserve Bank. It was selected due to the city's geographic location, its importance as a commercial and financial center, its transportation and communications facilities, as well as Virginia's leading regional role in the banking business. The bank was originally located near the federal courts downtown and moved to a new headquarters building near the Capitol in 1922, and finally to its present location overlooking the James River in 1978.[21] Richmond's business and industrial development continued throughout the decade, and in 1929, Philip Morris, which began as a British company about 100 years earlier, opened its first US factory in the city. Richmond was chosen because the town's rich tobacco history.[22]

Richmond entered the broadcasting era in late 1925 when WRVA, originally known as the Edgeworth Tobacco Station and owned by Larus & Brothers, went on the air. The white ballad singers and black gospel quartets that were popular on the radio at the time were often urban and sometimes even professional men. At the time, Richmond was particularly self-conscious with its southern roots, and such music was seen as culturally inferior.[23]

The Landmark Theater, originally known as The Mosque, adjacent to Monroe Park.

Several performing arts venues were constructed during the 1920s. In 1926, The Mosque (now called the Landmark Theater) was constructed by the Shriners as their Acca Temple Shrine, and since then, many of America's greatest entertainers have appeared on its stage beneath its towering minarets and desert murals.[24] Loew's Theater was built in 1927, and was described as, "the ultimate in 1920s movie palace fantasy design." It later suffered a decline in popularity as the movie-going population moved to the suburbs, but was restored during the 1980s and renamed as the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts.[25] In 1928, the Byrd Theater was built by local architect Fred Bishop on Westhampton Avenue (now called Cary Street) in a residential area of the city. To this day, the Byrd remains in operation as one of the last of the great movie palaces of the 1920s and 1930s.[26]

In his autobiography, "The Moon's A Balloon". Academy award winning actor David Niven described how he was on a trip from New York to Florida in the late 1930s when he decided to spend the night at Richmond's famous Jefferson Hotel, located in downtown Richmond. Niven stated that as he was signing the guest registry at the Jefferson, his eyes snapped open with amazement when he noticed a full sized alligator swimming in a small pool located six feet from the reception desk.[27] Alligators at The Jefferson would become world famous, and the last alligator living in the marble pools of the Jefferson's Palm Court, named Old Pompey, remained there until he died in 1948.[28]

Between 1963 and 1965, there was a, "downtown boom," that led to the construction of more than 700 buildings in the city. In 1968, Virginia Commonwealth University was created by the merger of the Medical College of Virginia with the Richmond Professional Institute.[29]

Between the 1984 and 1985 seasons, the city completed construction of the Diamond, a new baseball stadium for the Richmond Braves, a AAA baseball team in the Atlanta Braves minor league system. The park opened on April 17, 1985, replacing the old Parker Field, which previously occupied the same site.[30] Also in 1985, Richmond saw the opening of 6th Street Marketplace, a downtown festival marketplace, which was envisioned as a solution to the downtown areas urban erosion. The project ultimately failed, and the shopping center was closed and demolished in 2004.[31]

A multi-million dollar flood wall was completed in 1995, in order to protect the city and the Shockoe Bottom businesses from the rising waters of the James River. After the flood wall was completed, the River District businesses grew rapidly, and today the area is home to much of Richmond's entertainment, dining and nightlife activity.[32]

In 1996, a reminder of Richmond's Confederate history arose amid controversy involved in placing a statue of African American Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe to the famed series of statues of Confederate heroes of the Civil War on Monument Avenue.[33]

Twenty-first century

Richmond entered the twenty-first century in the process of undergoing several redevelopment initiatives. The city completed a $52 million restoration of the James River and Kanawha Canals, as well as the Haxall Canal, in 1999, which included a Canal Walk, designed to attract businesses such as restaurants and nightclubs to the area. The riverfront project has brought the 1.25-mile corridor back to life, with trendy loft apartments, restaurants, shops and hotels winding along the Canal Walk, along with canal boat cruises and walking tours.[10] Riverfront development continued in April 2003 with the start of construction of Riverside on the James, a 720,000 square foot (66,890 sq m) residential and office complex near Brown's Island between 10th and 12th Streets downtown. The project, costing $90 million, was completed in July 2005, and is expected to attract even more commercial development to the downtown area.[34]

On September 19, 2003, despite Hurricane Isabel's sustained winds of 40–60 mph (64–96 km/h) the day before, as well as major power outages in the area, the city saw the opening of its first open air shopping center, Stony Point Fashion Park. The 690,000  square foot (64,103 sq m) center is located off of Stony Point Parkway just south of the James River, and saw the arrival of 45 new stores to the area, including Sak's Fifth Avenue, Galyen's Sporting Goods, and Dillard's.[35] Short Pump Town Center, a similar shopping center, opened later in the fall in the nearby suburb of Short Pump.

The next year, in September 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston swept through the area, bringing with it intense rain, causing severe flooding in the Shockoe Bottom business district, as well as major electrical outages throughout the metropolitan area.[36]

Geography and climate

Geography

Richmond-Petersburg area
See also: Richmond-Petersburg

Richmond is located at 37°32′18.05″N, 77°27′41.42″W (37.538346, -77.461507).GR1 According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 62.5 mi² (162.0 km²). 60.1 mi² (155.6 km²) of it is land and 2.5 mi² (6.4 km²) of it (3.96%) is water. The city is located in the Piedmont region of Virginia, at the highest navigable point of the James River. The Piedmont region is categorized by relatively low, rolling hills, and lies between the low, sea level tidewater region and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Significant bodies of water in the region include the James River, the Appomattox River, and the Chickahominy River.

The Richmond-Petersburg Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the 43rd largest in the United States, includes the independent cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Petersburg, as well as the counties of Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan, and Prince George.[37] As of July 1, 2005, the total population of the Richmond—Petersburg MSA is 1,194,008.[38]

Cityscape

Richmond is often subdivided into North Side, Southside, East End and West End
See also: Neighborhoods of Richmond, Virginia

Richmond's original street grid, laid out in 1737, included the area between what are now Broad, 17th, and 25th Streets and the James River. Modern Downtown Richmond is located slightly farther west, on the slopes of Shockoe Hill. Nearby neighborhoods include Shockoe Bottom, the historically significant and low-lying area between Shockoe Hill and Church Hill, Jackson Ward, a historic neighborhood rich in African American history and once called, "The Wall Street of Black America," and Monroe Ward, which contains the Jefferson Hotel. Richmond's East End includes neighborhoods like rapidly gentrifying Church Hill, home to St. John's Church, as well as poorer areas like Fulton, Union Hill, and Fairmont, and public housing projects like Mosby Court, Whitcomb Court, Fairfield Court, and Creighton Court closer to Interstate 64.[39]

The area between Belvidere Street, Interstate 195, Interstate 95, and the river, which includes Virginia Commonwealth University, is socioeconomically and architecturally diverse. North of Broad Street, the Carver and Newtowne West neighborhoods are demographically similar to neighboring Jackson Ward, with Carver experiencing some gentrification due to its proximity to VCU. The affluent area between the Boulevard, Main Street, Broad Street, and VCU, known as the Fan, is home to Monument Avenue, an outstanding collection of Victorian architecture, and many students. West of the Boulevard is the Museum District, the location of the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. South of the Downtown Expressway are Byrd Park, Maymont, Hollywood Cemetery, the predominantly black working class Randolph neighborhood, and white working class Oregon Hill. Cary Street between Interstate 195 and the Boulevard is a popular commercial area called Carytown.[39]

Further to the west is the affluent, suburban West End. There are three major neighborhoods in the West End: Westhampton, Windsor Farms, and Sauer's Gardens. The University of Richmond and the Country Club of Virginia can also be found here.[39]

The portion of the city south of the James River is known as the Southside. Neighborhoods in the city's Southside area range from affluent and middle class suburban neighborhoods like Westover Hills, Southampton, Stratford Hills, Oxford, Huguenot Hills, Hobby Hill, and Woodland Heights to the impoverished Manchester and Blackwell areas, the Hillside Court housing projects, and the ailing Jefferson Davis Highway commercial corridor. Other Southside neighborhoods include Fawnbrook, Broad Rock, Cherry Gardens, Cullenwood, and Beaufont Hills. Much of Southside developed a suburban character as part of Chesterfield County before being annexed by Richmond, most notably in 1970.[39]

The other side of the city, the Northside, began to develop at the end of the 19th century when the new streetcar system made it possible for people to live on the outskirts of town and still commute to jobs downtown. Several neighborhoods developed here: Ginter Park, Bellevue, Barton Heights, Highland Park, Azalea and Chamberlayne among others.[39]

Climate

Richmond has a humid subtropical climate with moderate changes of seasons. Spring arrives in March with mild days and cool nights, and by late May, the temperature has warmed up considerably to herald warm summer days. Summer temperatures can be unpleasantly hot, often topping 90 °F with high humidity. On average, July is the warmest month of the year, with the maximum average precipitation. Days stay warm to mild until October, and Fall is marked by nights once again becoming cooler. Winter is usually mild in Richmond, with the coldest days featuring lows in the mid-upper 20s and highs in the mid 40s. The highest temperature ever recorded was 107 °F in 1918, and the lowest temperature ever recorded was -12 °F in 1940. On average, the coolest month of the year is January.[40] Snow falls every winter, averaging 12 inches per season.[41]

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F 81 83 94 96 100 104 105 107 103 99 86 81
Norm High °F 45 49 58 69 76 84 88 86 70 69 60 50
Norm Low °F 28 30 37 45 55 63 68 67 60 47 38 31
Rec Low °F -12 -10 11 19 31 40 51 39 35 21 10 -2
Precip (in) 3.55 2.98 4.09 3.18 3.96 3.54 4.67 4.18 3.98 3.60 3.06 3.12
Source: The Weather Channel[40]

Demographics

City of Richmond
Population by year[18]
1790 3,761
1800 5,737
1810 9,735
1820 12,067
1830 16,060
1840 20,153
1850 27,570
1860 37,910
1870 51,038
1880 63,600
1890 81,388
1900 85,050
1910 127,628
1920 171,667
1930 182,929
1940 193,042
1950 230,310
1960 219,958
1970 249,621
1980 219,214
1990 203,056
2000 197,790
2006 192,913

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 197,790 people, 84,549 households, and 43,627 families residing in the city. The estimated population for 2006 is 192,913.[42][43] The population density was 1,271.3/km² (3,292.6/mi²). There were 92,282 housing units at an average density of 593.1/km² (1,536.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.30% White, 57.19% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.49% from other races, and 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.57% of the population.

There were 84,549 households out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.1% were married couples living together, 20.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 13.1% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,121, and the median income for a family was $38,348. Males had a median income of $30,874 versus $25,880 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,337. About 17.1% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.9% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.

Due to being home to many institutions of higher education, the Richmond area boasts a college student population of over 43,000 (not including the two large community colleges and many technical schools in the area). Many of these students, especially those living in dormitories, are not included in the official population count.

Economy

Historic development as a commercial center

Richmond's strategic location on the James River, built on undulating hills at the rocky fall line separating the piedmont and tidewater regions of Virginia provided a natural site for the development of commerce.

The first European explorers came in 1607, from the Virginia Company of London. They discovered a fragrant weed grown by the natives, and tobacco became a lucrative commodity in the area. The trading post developed into a village, and by 1733 a town was laid out by William Byrd II and William Mayo. Its early buildings were clustered around the Farmers' Market, existing today at 17th Street.

Early trade grew rapidly, primarily in the agriculture sector, but also in the slave trade. Slaves were imported to Richmond's Manchester docks from Africa, and were bought and sold at the same market.

To facilitate the transfer of cargo from the flat-bottomed bateaux above the fall line to the ocean-faring ships below, George Washington helped design the James River and Kanawha Canal in the 1700s to bypass Richmond's rapids. The canal was later superseded by rail in the 1800s, and the railroads were laid on the original canal towpaths. In the 1900s highways were constructed in the air over the same area.

Throughout these three centuries and three modes of transportation, downtown has always been a hub, with the Great Turning Basin for boats, the world's only triple crossing of rail lines, and the intersection of two major interstates.

See also: Transportation in Richmond, Virginia

Industries that defined Richmond

Richmond emerged from the smoldering rubble of the Civil War as an economic powerhouse, with iron front buildings and massive brick factories. Innovations of this era included the world's first cigarette-rolling machine, invented by James Albert Bonsack of Roanoke in 1880/81, and the world's first successful electric street car system.

Freed slaves and their descendants created a thriving African-American business community, led by such influential people as Maggie L. Walker (first woman to charter a bank in the U.S.) and John Mitchell The city's historic Jackson Ward became known as the "Wall Street of Black America."

Law and finance have long been driving forces in the economy. Because the city is home to both a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a Federal Reserve Bank, as well as offices for international firms such as Hunton & Williams LLP, McGuireWoods LLP, Troutman Sanders LLP, CapitalOne, Philip Morris USA, and numerous other banks and brokerages, Richmond was cited as having minimal evidence of being a Global city.[44]

Since the 1960s Richmond has been a prominent hub for advertising agencies and advertising related businesses, including The Martin Agency. As a result of local advertising agency support, VCU's graduate advertising school (VCU AdCenter) is consistently ranked the #1 advertising graduate program in the country.[45]

Fortune 500 Companies and other large corporations

The Greater Richmond area was named the third best city for business by MarketWatch in September of 2007; ranking only behind the Minneapolis and Denver areas and just above Boston. The area is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, including electric utility Dominion Resources; consumer electronics retailer Circuit City, which also spun off the used car retailer CarMax, now a separate Fortune 500 company; Performance Food Group; LandAmerica Financial Group; Owens & Minor; Brink's Company, a security services outfit; Genworth Financial, the former insurance arm of GE and the recently relocated MeadWestvaco, a leading global producer of packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products and specialty chemicals.

Other Fortune 500 companies, while not headquartered in the area, do have a major presence here. These include Wachovia Securities headquarters (a subsidiary of Charlotte-based Wachovia Corporation), SunTrust Banks Incorporated (based in Atlanta), credit card agency Capital One Financial Corporation (officially based in McLean, but founded in Richmond with its operations center and most employees in the Richmond area), the medical and pharmaceutical giant, McKesson (based in San Francisco). Philip Morris USA (a division of Altria Group), one of the world's largest food, beverage, and tobacco companies, maintains their corporate headquarters in Henrico County just outside the city, and has several other facilities in the area. Universal Corporation, also in the tobacco industry, has its corporate headquarters here as well. Capital One and Phillip Morris USA are two of the largest private Richmond-area employers.

DuPont also maintains a production facility known as the Spruance Plant, and Qimonda, formerly Infineon Technologies, has a facility located at Elko Tract (a former WWII airfield and ghost town) near Richmond International Airport, and produces DRAM computer memory in the area.

Richmond is also home to the rapidly developing Virginia BioTechnology Research Park, which opened in 1995 as an incubator facility for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Located adjacent to the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, the park currently has more than 575,000 square feet (53,000 m²) of research, laboratory and office space for a diverse tenant mix of companies, research institutes, government laboratories and non-profit organizations. The United Network for Organ Sharing, which maintains the nation's organ transplant waiting list, occupies one building in the park. Philip Morris USA also recently announced their plans to build a $350 million research and development facility in the park as well. Once fully developed in the next five to 10 years, park officials expect the site to employ roughly 3,000 scientists, technicians and engineers. Philip Morris will add roughly 600 employees once it opens in 2007.

Richmond is also the home of the Ukrop's Super Market, a regional, family-owned chain of supermarkets, known for its remarkable customer service and friendly employees, as well as its closed-on-Sundays and no-alcohol-on-the-shelves policies. Ukrops is a high-profile sponsor of community events like the Monument Avenue 10K, Easter on Parade, and the Ukrop's Christmas Parade.

Recent economic developments

In recent years, Richmond has been attempting to revive its downtown. Recent downtown initiatives include the Canal Walk, a new Greater Richmond Convention Center, and expansion on both VCU campuses. Despite numerous controversies related to excessive employee salaries and wasteful spending of public tax money [46]

The center is set to receive $25 million in 'City of the Future' funds from Mayor Doug Wilder even though the current planners of CenterStage have yet to disclose annual administrative and operating expenses or initiate an artists endowment.[47] The city has entertained multiple proposals for a new baseball stadium for the AAA Class Richmond Braves in recent years, but none has yet advanced beyond initial planning.

In February, 2006, MeadWestvaco announced that they would move from Stamford, to Richmond in 2008.[48]

Arts and culture

Museums and art galleries

The Jefferson Davis Monument, located at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Davis Avenue in Richmond.

Richmond has a significant art community, and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation.[49] In addition to many art venues associated with the university, there are also several attractions nearby, including the Library of Virginia, the Valentine Richmond History Center, the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Richmond Symphony, and the Richmond Ballet. The Byrd Theatre in Carytown is a classical movie theater from the 1920s era that still features second-run movies on a regular basis, and is popular among the college student population, particularly because of its low ticket price of $1.99.

The Science Museum of Virginia, is also located on Broad Street near the Fan district. It is housed in the neoclassical Union Station, designed by Beaux-Arts-trained John Russell Pope in 1919. Adjacent to the Science Museum is the Richmond Children's Museum, a fun-filled museum with many hands-on activities.

As the former Capital of the Confederate States of America, Richmond is home to many museums and battlefields of the American Civil War. The Museum of the Confederacy, located near the Virginia State Capitol and the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, is in Court End along with the Davis Mansion, also known as the White House of the Confederacy; both today feature a wide variety of objects and material from the era. Near the riverfront is the Tredegar Iron Works and Civil War Battlefields National Park Visitors Center. There is a former slave trail along the river as well. The dome-like structure to commemorate the Centennial Exhibition of the American Civil War now serves as a cafeteria on the MCV Campus of VCU. The National Park Service's Richmond Civil War Visitor Center, in the Tredegar Iron Works, has three floors of exhibits and artifacts, films, a bookstore, picnic areas and more.

Other historical points of interest include St. John's Church, the site of Patrick Henry's famous, "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, and the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, features many of his writings and other artifacts of his life, particularly when he lived in the city as a child, a student, and a successful writer. The John Marshall House, the home of the former Chief Justice of the United States, is also located downtown and features many of his writings and objects from his life. Hollywood Cemetery is also the burial grounds of two U.S. Presidents as well as many other civil war officers and soldiers. The home of former Confederate General Robert E. Lee still stands on Franklin Street in downtown Richmond.

The city is also home to many monuments, most notably several along Monument Avenue in the Fan District. Other monuments of interest in the city include the A.P. Hill monument, the Bill "Bojangles" Robinson monument, the Christopher Columbus monument, and the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Dedicated in 1956, the Virginia War Memorial is also located on Belvedere near the riverfront, and is a monument to Virginians who died in battle in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. Located near Byrd Park is the famous World War I Memorial Carillon, a 56 bell carillon tower.

Performing arts

  • Richmond Ballet - Founded in 1957. Current artistic director is Stoner Winslet.
  • Richmond Symphony - Current music director is Mark Russell Smith.
  • Virginia Opera - The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, founded in 1974. Current artistic director is Peter Mark. Presents eight mainstage performances every year at the Landmark Theater.
  • Barksdale Theatre- Founded in 1953, originally as the Hanover Tavern. Created the nation's first dinner theatre. The Barksdale was Virginia’s first performing arts organization to open its doors to integrated audiences. Continues today as The Hanover Tavern, in Hanover Virginia, Barksdale Theatre in Richmond.
  • Theatre IV- founded in 1975 by Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway and is one of the largest running theatres in Virginia. Tours children's shows all over the country. Now a family playhouse after Bruce and Phil took over Barksdale Theatre in Willow Lawn in 2001.
  • S.P.A.R.C. - School Of The Performing Arts in the Richmond Community. SPARC was founded in 1981, and trained children to become "triple threats", meaning they were equally versed in singing, acting, and dancing. SPARC has become the largest community-based theater arts education program in Virginia and it offers classes to every age group, during the summer and throughout the year.
  • Recently, the Richmond Coliseum has drawn high-profile acts such as Nine Inch Nails, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, My Chemical Romance and Tool.
  • Richmond CenterStage, a new performing arts center planned to open in Downtown Richmond in 2009. The complex will reportedly include a renovation of the Carpenter Center and construction of a new multipurpose hall, community playhouse, and arts education center in parts of the old Thalhimers department store.

Sports

Richmond does not have any major league professional sports teams. However, there are several minor league teams, and excellent extreme sports. The city's professional baseball team is the Richmond Braves, a AAA minor league baseball team (the farm team of the Atlanta Braves). The Braves play at The Diamond. The Richmond Lions, a USA Rugby Division 2 rugby union team, play at Dorey Park. The Richmond Kickers, a United Soccer Leagues Second Division soccer team, play at the University of Richmond Stadium.

The Richmond Coliseum, a 13,000 plus seat multi-purpose arena in downtown Richmond, is the home of a large number of sporting events, concerts, festivals, and trade shows. The Colonial Athletic Association has hosted its annual men's basketball tournament at the Coliseum since 1990. The Coliseum has played host as a NCAA men's basketball tournament site and in 1994 played host to the women's basketball Final Four. In December 2006, WWE's Armageddon Live Pay-Per-View was held at the Coliseum.

Th Stuart C. Siegel Center, on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in downtown Richmond, is the 7,500 plus seat home multi-purpose arena of the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. The area also plays host to concerts and local and state high school basketball games and tournaments as well as several high school graduations in the surrounding area.

The Robins Center, a 9,071-seat multi-purpose arena, is home to the University of Richmond Spiders basketball.

Auto racing is also very popular in the area, and the Richmond International Raceway also hosts two annual NASCAR Nextel Cup races, the Suntrust Indy Challenge, as well as the Virginia State Fair and other community and sporting events. Southside Speedway also sits just southwest of Richmond in Chesterfield County, and is a .33 mile oval short-track that features weekly stock car racing on Friday nights. Southside Speedway has acted as the breeding grounds for many past NASCAR legends including Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip, and claims to be the home track of current NASCAR superstar Denny Hamlin. Richmond was considered as one of the possible resting places for the future NASCAR Hall of Fame, but it was ultimately awarded to Charlotte.

Colonial Downs is a horse racing track in New Kent, Virginia adjacent to Interstate 64, approximately 20 miles east of Richmond's city limits. The track plays host to the Virginia Derby each July.

Richmond has played host to the Xterra (off-road triathlon) East Championship since 2000. Mountain bikers and Triathletes alike revel in the incredible trail system of the James River Park. Each June the best off-road Triathletes in the world converge on Richmond for the Xterra East Regional Championship bringing with them the Xterra Triathlon festival, including family events, athletic competitions, and a twilight concert.

Richmond is also the home of the River City Rollergirls, a rookie league for the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA),and of Richmond Lucha Libre, a popular local independent wrestling group.

WWE Diva and former WWE Women's Champion Mickie James resides in Richmond, Virginia.

Parks and outdoor recreation

The city operates one of the oldest municipal park systems in the country. The park system began when the city council voted in 1851 to acquire 7.5 acres (3 hectares), now known as Monroe Park. Today, Monroe Park sits adjacent to the Virginia Commonwealth University campus and is one of more than 40 parks comprising a total of more than 1,500 acres (610 hectares).

Several parks are located along the James River, and the James River Parks System offers bike trails, hiking and nature trails, and many scenic overlooks along the river's route through the city. The mountain bike trail system in James River and Forest Hill parks is considered by professional riders to be one of the best urban trail systems in the country. The trails are used as part of the Xterra East Championship course for both the running and mountain biking portions of the off-road triathlon.

There are also parks on two major islands in the river: Belle Isle and Brown's Island. Belle Isle, at various former times a Powhatan fishing village, colonial-era horse race track, and Civil War prison camp, is the larger of the two, and contains many bike trails as well as a small cliff that is used for rock climbing instruction. One can walk the island and still see many of the remains of the Civil War prison camp, such as an arms storage room and a gun emplacement that was used to quell prisoner riots. Brown's Island is a smaller island and a popular venue of a large number of free outdoor concerts and festivals in the spring and summer, such as the weekly Friday Cheers concert series or the James River Beer and Seafood Festival.

Two other major parks in the city are Byrd Park and Maymont, located near the fan district of Richmond. Byrd Park features a one mile running track, with exercise stops, a public dog park, and a number of small lakes for small boats, as well as two monuments and an amphitheatre. Prominently featured in the park is the World War I Memorial Carillon, built in 1926 as a memorial to those that died in the war. Maymont, located adjacent to Byrd Park, is a 100-acre (40-hectare) Victorian estate with a museum, formal gardens, native wildlife exhibits, nature center, carriage collection, and children's farm. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is also located in the city.

Other parks in the city include Joseph Bryan Park Azalea Garden, Forest Hill Park (former site of the Forest Hill Amusement Park), Chimborazo Park (site of the National Battlefield Headquarters), among others.

Several theme parks are also located near the city, including Kings Dominion to the north, and Busch Gardens to the east, near Williamsburg. UK-based Diggerland will soon begin construction of a construction-themed park planned to open in 2007.[50]

Media and popular culture

Main article: Media in Richmond, Virginia

The Richmond Times-Dispatch is the local daily newspaper in Richmond, with a Sunday circulation of 215,000. Style Weekly is an alternative weekly publication covering popular culture, arts, and entertainment. City Edition is a weekly news magazine distributed throughout Richmond that focuses on city government and civic life in the city. The Richmond Free Press and the Voice cover the news from a predominantly African American perspective. Spanish-language publications in the city include the magazine La Voz Hispana de Virginia and the newspaper, Centro.

The Richmond metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Richmond-Petersburg designated market area (DMA) is the 61st largest in the U.S. with 517,800 homes (0.46% of the total U.S.).[51] The major network television affiliates are WTVR-TV 6 (CBS), WRIC-TV 8 (ABC), WWBT 12 (NBC), WRLH 35 (FOX), and WUPV 65 (CW). Public Broadcasting Service stations include WCVE-TV 23 and WCVW 57. There are also a wide variety of radio stations in the Richmond area, catering to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.

Many films and television shows have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Richmond, including Finnegan Begin Again, Hannibal, The Jackal, Hearts in Atlantis, The Contender, Shadow Conspiracy, Evan Almighty, and Iron Jawed Angels.[52]

Several rock bands were also formed in Richmond, including GWAR, Carbon Leaf, and Lamb of God. The Dave Matthews Band is also often mistakenly associated with the city, as it was actually formed in Charlottesville, about 100 miles to the northwest.

Religion

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, located in the Fan district, adjacent to Monroe Park, was dedicated in 1906.

Richmond has several historic churches. Because of its early English colonial history from the early 1600s to 1776, Richmond has a number of prominent Anglican/Episcopal churches including Monumental Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and St. John's Episcopal Church. Methodists and Baptists made up another section of early churches, and First Baptist Church of Richmond was the first of these, established in 1780. In the Reformed church tradition, the first Presbyterian Church in the City of Richmond was First Presbyterian Church, organized on June 18, 1812. On February 5, 1845, Second Presbyterian Church of Richmond was founded, which was a historic church where Stonewall Jackson attended and was the first Gothic building and the first gas-lit church to be built in Richmond.[53] Due to the influx of German immigrants in the 1840s, Saint Johns German Evangelical church was formed in 1843. Richmond is also home to a prominent Greek-American community. Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral held its first worship service in a rented room at 309 North 7th Street in 1917. The cathedral relocated to 30 Malvern Avenue in 1960 and is noted as one of two Eastern Orthodox churches in Richmond and home to the annual Richmond Greek Festival. There are two other Orthodox churches in the immediate Metropolitan area. The community which now comprises St Cyprian of Carthage Orthodox Church was begun in 1974 by Fr George and Mary Ann DeTrana prior to the formation of the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America. Services were held in two temporary locations until property was purchased in 1978 at 3820 Chamberlayne Ave on the Northside. From the outset, the purpose of the mission has been to bring the Orthodox Christian Church in English to the people of Central Virginia. The congregation currently represents a cross-section of Orthodoxy in America with members drawn from every major jurisdiction as well as a significant number of converts to the faith. St Cyprian of Carthage Orthodox Church is a parish of the Diocese of the South under the leadership of His Eminence, the Most Rev DMITRI, Archbishop of Dallas and the South. [1] St. Andrew's Orthodox Church is located at 117 Linden St in Ashland, just a few miles north of Richmond on I-95. St. Andrew's is a small community that entered into canonical communion with the Orthodox Church within the last decade. Today, St. Andrew's is the spiritual home of a multi-ethnic congregation, composed of a diverse mixture of converts and "cradle" Orthodox. They offer a very rich and attractive cycle of services, and congregational singing. As the northernmost outpost of the Diocese of the South, they have drawn families from the Fredericksburg area as well. [2] . Another Orthodox church in Richmond is St. James Armenian Church, located at 834 Pepper Avenue, established in the 1950s, and is the home to the annual Armenian Food Festival[3].

The first Jewish congregation in Richmond was Kahal Kadosh Beth Shalom. Beth Shalom was the sixth in the United States and was the westernmost Jewish congregation in the United States at the time of its foundation. By 1822 K.K. Beth Shalom members worshipped in the first synagogue building in Virginia. They eventually merged with Congregation Beth Ahabah, an offshoot of Beth Shalom. Today there is a diverse Jewish community. There are three Orthodox Synagogues, Congregation Kol Emes, Keneseth Beth Israel, and Chabad of the Virginias[54]. There is an Orthodox Yeshivah K-12 school system known as Rudlin Torah academy, with two locations (the boys high school being located further east). There are two Conservative synagogues, Beth El and Or Atid. There are two Reform synagogues, Beth Ahabah and Or Ami. The largest synagogue, Temple Beth El, is located in Henrico County. Along with such religious congregations, there are a variety of other Jewish charitable, educational and social service institutions, each serving the Jewish and general communities. These include the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and Richmond Jewish Foundation.

Tikvat Israel Messianic Jewish Congregation is located on the corner of Boulevard and Grove Avenue in the Fan district. This building was originally constructed around 1915 as the home of Grace Baptist Church. In the 1940's the building experienced a devastating fire. At that time a former synagogue purchased it and renovated it, naming itself Kenneset Beth Israel. Beth Israel remained here until the mid-1970's when they moved to their current location about five miles west on Patterson Avenue. Since then the building changed hands a few times, with no regular residences, until December, 1990, when Tikvat Israel moved in and later purchased it.

There are several seminaries in Richmond. Three of these have banded together to become the Richmond Theological Consortium. This consortium consists of a theology school at Virginia Union University, a Presbyterian seminary called Union PSCE , and a Baptist seminary known as Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

Two bishops sit in Richmond, those of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia (the denomination's largest) and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, which encompasses all of central and southern Virginia and its eastern shore. The Presbytery of the James -- Presbyterian Church (USA) -- also is based in the Richmond area.

There are five masjids in the Greater Richmond area, accommodating the growing Muslim population. They are Islamic Center of Virginia (ICVA) in the south side, Islamic Society of Greater Richmond (ISGR) in the west end, Masjidullah in the north side, Masjid Bilal near downtown, and Masjid Ar-Rahman in the east end.[55]

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was penned in Richmond by Thomas Jefferson.

Government

See also: List of mayors of Richmond, Virginia

Richmond city government consists of a city council with representatives from nine districts serving in a legislative and oversight capacity, as well as a popularly elected, at-large mayor serving as head of the executive branch. Citizens in each of the nine districts elect one council representative each to serve a two-year term. Beginning with the November 2008 election Council terms will be lengthened to 4 years. The city council elects from among its members one member to serve as Council President and one to serve as Council Vice President. The city council meets at City Hall (900 E. Broad St., 2nd Floor) on the second and fourth Mondays of every month, except August.

As of January, 2007, the Richmond City Council consists of: William (Bill) J. Pantele, 2nd District, President of Council; Rev. Delores L. McQuinn, 7th District, Vice-President of Council; Bruce Tyler, 1st District; Chris A. Hilbert, 3rd District; Kathy C. Graziano, 4th District; E. Martin (Marty) Jewell, 5th District; Ellen F. Robertson, 6th District; Reva M. Trammell, 8th District; and Douglas Conner Jr., 9th District.

Richmond's government changed in 2004 from a council-manager form of government to an at-large, popularly elected Mayor. In a landslide election, incumbent mayor Rudy McCollum was defeated by L. Douglas Wilder, who previously served Virginia as the first elected African American governor in the United States since Reconstruction. The Mayor is not a part of the Richmond City Council.

Education

See also: Richmond Public Schools

The city of Richmond operates 31 elementary schools, nine middle schools, and eight high schools, with a cosmopolitan student population of 25,000 students.

There are also many private, college preparatory schools in Richmond. Several of these, such as St. Christopher's School, St. Catherine's School, Collegiate School and The Steward School offer a full K-12 education. Other area prep schools include the Benedictine High School, Trinity Episcopal School, and St. Gertrude High School. Richmond is also home to the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, an esteemed public regional magnet high school.

The Richmond area has many major institutions of higher education, including the University of Richmond (private), Virginia Commonwealth University (public), Virginia Union University (private), and the Union Theological Seminary & Presbyterian School of Christian Education (private). Several community colleges are found in the metro area, including J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and John Tyler Community College (Chesterfield County). In addition, there are several Technical Colleges in Richmond including, ITT Technical Institute, ECPI College of Technology and Beta Tech.

Virginia State University is located about 20 miles south of Richmond, in the suburb of Ettrick, just outside of Petersburg, and Randolph-Macon College is located about 15 miles north of Richmond, in the incorporated town of Ashland.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Richmond's downtown Main Street Station in 1971.
Main article: Transportation in Richmond, Virginia

The Greater Richmond area is served by the Richmond International Airport (IATA: RIC, ICAO: KRIC) , located in nearby Sandston, seven miles southeast of Richmond and within an hour drive of historic Williamsburg. Richmond International is now served by nine airlines with over 200 daily flights provide non-stop service to major destination markets and connecting flights to destinations worldwide. In 2004, the airport served approximately 2.5 million passengers. A record 3.3 million passengers used Richmond International Airport in 2006, a 13% increase over 2005.

Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound Lines. Local transit and paratransit bus service in Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties is provided by the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC). The GRTC, however, serves only small parts of the suburban counties. The far West End (Innsbrook and Short Pump) and almost all of Chesterfield County have no public transportation despite dense housing, retail, and office development. Recent statistics in the Richmond Times-Dispatch have shown that the vast majority of GRTC riders ride the bus because they do not own a car and have no other choice.

Richmond also has two railroad stations served by Amtrak. Each station receives regular service from north of Richmond from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York. The suburban Staples Mill Road Station is located on a major north-south freight line and receives all service to and from all points south including, Raleigh, Durham, Savannah, Newport News, Williamsburg and Florida. The historic and recently renovated Main Street Station near downtown Richmond only receives trains bound for Newport News and Williamsburg at this time, due to its track layout. As a result, the Staples Mill Road station receives more service overall.

Richmond also benefits from an excellent position in reference to the state's transportation network, lying at the junction of east-west Interstate 64 and north-south Interstate 95, two of the most heavily traveled highways in the state, as well as along several major rail lines. Other major highways passing through Richmond include U.S. Routes 1, 33, 60, 250, 301 and 360.

Utilities

View of the Richmond skyline at night, while crossing the Manchester Bridge.

Electricity in the Richmond Metro area is provided by Dominion Virginia Power. The company, based in Richmond, is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, serving retail energy customers in nine states. Electricity is provided in the Richmond area primarily by the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station and Surry Nuclear Generating Station, as well as a coal-fired station in Chester. These three plants provide a total of 4,453 megawatts of power. Several other natural gas plants provide extra power during times of peak demand. These include a facility in Chester, in Surry, and two plants in Richmond (Gravel Neck and Darbytown).[56]

Water is provided by the city's Department of Public Utilities, and is one of the largest water producers in Virginia, with a modern plant that can treat up to 132 million gallons of water a day from the James River.[57]

Wastewater: The treatment plant and distribution system of water mains, pumping stations and storage facilities provide water to approximately 62,000 customers in the city. The facility also provides water to the surrounding area through wholesale contracts with Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover counties. Overall, this results in a facility that provides water for approximately 500,000 people. There is also a wastewater treatment plant located on the south bank of the James River. This plant can treat up to 70 million gallons of water per day of sanitary sewage and stormwater before returning it to the river. The wastewater utility also operates and maintains 1,500 miles of sanitary sewer, pumping stations, 38 miles of intercepting sewer lines, and the Shockoe Retention Basin, a 44-million-gallon stormwater reservoir used during heavy rains.

Sister cities

Richmond has six sister cities, as designated by the Sister Cities International, Inc.:[58]

See also

References

  1. ^ "History of Jamestown." APVA Preservation Virginia. 1997, 2000. Retrieved on July 9, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d "Richmond, Virginia." [[Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition|]]. Retrieved on July 9, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Government & History of Richmond." City of Richmond. Retrieved on July 9, 2007.
  4. ^ Grafton, John. "The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History: 1775-1864." 2000, Courier Dover Publications, pp. 1-4.
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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Richmond, Virginia. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about Richmond, VirginiaRDF feed
Coord 37°31′58.8″N, 77°28′1.2″W  +info.pngGoogle Earth
Localities of nation United States  +
Localities of nation-subdivision1 Virginia  +
Short name City of Richmond  +

This article uses material from the "Richmond, Virginia" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Richmond, Virginia
File:Flag of Richmond,
Flag
Nickname(s): River City, Cap City, RVA, The 804
Motto: Sic dic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars)

Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates: 37°31′58.8″N 77°28′1.2″W / 37.533°N 77.467°W / 37.533; -77.467
Country United States
State Virginia
County Independent City
Government
 - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I)
Area
 - City 62.5 sq mi (162.0 km2)
 - Land 60.1 sq mi (155.6 km2)
 - Water 2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)
Elevation 150 ft (45.7 m)
Population (2006)
 - City 192,913 (estimate)
 Density 3,211.1/sq mi (1,239.8/km2)
 Urban 1,045,250
 Metro 1,194,008
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 804
Website http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/

Richmond is the capital city of the state of Virginia, in the United States of America. Richmond was founded in 1737 by settlers from England. Much of the American Civil War was fought near Richmond, because Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America. Today, Richmond has a population of about 250,000 people, with more than a million people in the area around Richmond. Tobacco businesses were a large part of the early Richmond economy.


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