Thursday, July 02, 2009

Perriello protest in Garrett zone

Charlottesville, Va.—This afternoon protesters assembled outside Congressman Tom Perriello’s office. At ground zero for eminent domain abuse, the protest came 42 years after the referendum that set in motion the city’s largest, ongoing urban renewal project. For me, the context overwhelmed the content of the protest.

Ridge Schuyler is the congressman’s spokesman and took notes as he stood behind the speakers atop the stairs leading to the office. Schuyler left the Nature Conservancy to work for Perriello. Schuyler has come under criticism for supporting the Community Water Supply Plan to expand Ragged Mountain reservoir instead of dredging.

The protest began at 4 pm. After saying he would not be in town, Perriello was scheduled to speak at the University of Virginia at 5:30. Technically the university is in the county. People shouted, “Where is Perriello?” Schuyler promised to pass on to Perriello the crowd’s displeasure.

The only candidate for elected office with a presence was Bradley S. Rees. He’s running for the Republican nomination to oppose Perriello in 2010. A single campaign volunteer handed out flyers.

Condos built 2004 on land vacant since 1972.

"Luxury Gleason Condos: urban renewal still not over", Nov. 27, 2006

Landmark Hotel stands blighted. Photo shows proximity of Garrett and Main Streets.

Levy Avenue parking lot rents for $1 a year.

Levy Avenue razed 1972.

Levy and 6th SE, Old Scottsville Rd. Site of the final holdouts on this block and most expensive property 1972. "Levy Avenue update: All 5 owners identified", Nov. 17, 2007.

Garrett neighborhood Feb. 1, 2006.
(A) Perriello's office.
(B) Garrett Square / Friendship Court.
(C) Levy Avenue.
(F) H.M. Gleason.
(I) Ix Factory, 1929-1999.
(Red Outline) Garrett Street urban renewal project, now called the Warehouse District. Alexander Garrett built his mansion in 1820s on Oak Hill farm (hill removed in 1977 clearance) across from Gleason and torn down 1952. Garrett Street developed 1860. Town's first public school 1870. Fourth St. (Ware) developed 1915 site of Garrett Square. There is much more history of this neighborhood only two blocks from Main St.

1935 Charlottesville.

Vinegar Hill Feb. 1, 2006.
(A)Crossroads. Main, Ridge, South, and McIntire. Lewis and Clark Statue.
(B) Lane High 1940, County Office Building 1970s.
(C) Omni (Radisson) 1980s two decades after clearance 1964.
(D) 1894 Jefferson School lost with Vinegar Hill clearance. 1926 Jefferson School to left of (D). First Jefferson School 1865 on W. Main.

1960 Vinegar Hill.
(A) Mooney Oldsmobile / RSC equipment rental. Site of future condo tower. "Land for condo tower once owned by John West and Madam Marguiretta", Sep. 13, 2007.