Monday, February 12, 2007

Update on urban renewal archives: 287 more photos

Aerial Photo of Vinegar Hill 1960


After at Ridge and West Main, Lewis and Clark statue

Charlottesville, Va.-- Last Monday February 5, I photographed with my digital camera 287 Housing Authority archive photos in a 152-page notebook. After three phone calls in January to arrange an appointment, assistant city manager Rochelle Small-Toney called me Monday morning and I happened to be off due to extreme cold. She arranged that a notebook of archives be brought to City Hall and I took the photographs from about 3:00 to 3:45pm.

I have photo CDs available and have given away three already. The picture CDs can be viewed on some DVD players. It plays on mine but did not play on two other models tested.

The photos are not limited to Vinegar Hill or urban renewal. There is a photo of Lafayette Theater. Main Street before the pedestrian mall. 4th Street SE underpass showing Miller & Rhoads and absence of Water Street parking garage. H.M. Gleason. Garrett Street. Relocation office on Ware Street. Cox's Row. McGuffy School. And many photos I can't identify.

This was my third visit to view and copy the Housing Authority's archive record. On the first visit: 10 unidentified houses and 7 aerial views following Vinegar Hill clearance. On the 2nd visit: 8 photos of 6 houses on Ware Street including my grandmother's house.

Total documents I have copied from CRHA is 312. This number does not include documents I've copied from city assessor's office, Historical Society, Special Collections at Alderman, newspaper archives and other sources. I have not yet seen the information donated to Special Collections after the Frank Ix and Sons textile mill closed in 1999.

I don't have enough web storage space for all the photos. But I'm working on it. I should have another update by February 24 in the effort to reconstruct one of the stories of Charlottesville.

Original Time Machine to Heal the Wounds of Urban Renewal January 2002

Council decides to keep Old Lynchburg Road open and ask the County to make Fontaine-Sunset Connector a priority
Feb 6, 2007

Blair Hawkins' comment

Another story last night you won't hear about elsewhere was the proposed historic district for the city's Fifeville neighborhood. Notification letters were sent out the day before Christmas, Dec. 24.

Councilor Kendra Hamilton acknowledged blacks have historically opposed historic designation, but she didn't know why.

Mayor David Brown said the purpose of historic designation is to prevent property owners from demolishing their historic homes. Brown doesn't know that blacks want a designation to prevent the city's agencies from demolishing historic homes.

Councilor Julian Taliaferro was the biggest denier of Charlottesville history by saying the concerns of blacks is an example of "perception greater than reality." During his campaign for office, at least twice, Taliaferro dismissed statements by the public as untrue, based solely on his inability to believe the truth.

Tonight, the councilors were responding to Ann Carter, who owns 324 6th St. SW. In her public comment, she listed out some history the councilors continue to dismiss as untrue.

But I don't believe Ms. Carter is a lier. I'm working on a big story now and will try to contact her so her truth can be included. Monday I photographed 152 pages of Housing Authority archive photos, none which concern the sites in the news in 2006. The text documents are still being withheld. Nobody knows the total number of documents UVa professor Scot French of the Carter Woodson Institute is "safeguarding." On Feb. 24, there will be a discussion on this topic at First Baptist Church with time to be determined.

The podcast at the city's website is not up yet. Also the Nov. 20 podcast is not available, the meeting where Council refused to release urban renewal archives.


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