Monday, January 18, 2010

More Urban Renewal Archives Online

Charlottesville, Va.—Maybe a third of Housing Authority photographic archives are now on the internet. Only a handful of the 6,000+ text documents have been made public.

"The Vinegar Hill Project" we’ve been waiting for since 2005 is now finished. The researchers are clear that the project focuses exclusively on Vinegar Hill and other documents in the collection were disregarded. No deeds or assessments seem to be available, in contradiction to the project’s promises in Feb. 2007.

"Since 2005, researchers from the Virginia Center for Digital History and the Carter G. Woodson Institute's Center for the Study of Local Knowledge have been working with local residents, the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, the Public Housing Association of Residents, the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and the City of Charlottesville to digitize photographs, oral histories, and public records related to Vinegar Hill, with the aim of building an online archive and virtual tour of this urban "memoryscape." " (Source)

"Aerial Timeline" with news summaries does mention the 3 referendums in 1967, the world war two of Charlottesville’s urban renewal. (Visual Eyes)

Flickr has more photos, including the students and researchers who created the project.

Below are other archives published by Blair Hawkins. They include 152 notebook pages of photos adding up to 287 photos, copied Feb. 5, 2007. A page can have a single photo, 2, 3, or 4 photos. They also include 8 photos of 6 particular houses on Ware St. and 17 photos (10 unidentified houses and 7 aerial photos), which Hawkins photographed on separate visits in August and June 2005, respectively, when former assistant city manager Rochelle Small-Toney telephoned and presented these selected excerpts to Hawkins. Hawkins’ first request to view the archives was March 25, 2004. The archive pursuit has been documented in many publications ever since.

In Feb. 2007, the Carter G. Woodson Institute and Dr. Scot French said the archives comprise 1,189 photos, 189 maps and blue prints, and 6,845 pages of written documentation.

The archives below include Vinegar Hill pictures, but makes no effort to exclude other pieces of history, or to present Vinegar Hill as the only history we have.

You can browse the archives below. Some photos are identified because this researcher knows the detail. Others are identified from what someone else wrote on a post-it note. Many are not identified. Some notes are incorrect.If you know anything related to the photo, please leave a comment so we can piece all this history together eventually.

The photos are not limited to Vinegar Hill, or even Garrett Street urban renewal. The existence of a photo may or may not mean the agency used or threatened eminent domain. We don't have the text documents to cross-reference.


Corner of Garrett, 6th SE & Levy—

SW corner with "Garrett Street Redevelopment Project" sign (View today)

Looking west down Garrett with H.M. Gleason on left.

"ALLENS STORE" at NW corner other side of bridge over Pollock’s Branch

Levy from Avon looking toward 6th SE. (View today)

Missing is SE corner (View today), lots 2,3,4 of Levy residential block, the final holdout on this block, most expensive compensation of $50,000 to Dennis F. and Mildred B. Hensley, June 26, 1972. More history and deed numbers for just this block of 10 parcels.

Lafayette and Jefferson Theaters in one photo on Main Street before the Mall

The condominiums behind McGuffy School Art Center Also Pics 19-22 and scattered about.

13th St. NW. May 1970

Page St.Dec. 8, 1970(Lower photo)

Garrett Zone Street Map 1967Garret Zone Street Map 1967 (Aerial photo missing from the archives so far)

Garrett Satellite Feb. 1, 2006Garrett Satellite Feb. 1, 2006

Vinegar Hill 1960 aerialVinegar Hill 1960 aerial

Vinegar Hill post-1964 clearanceVinegar Hill post-1964 clearance

Vinegar Hill Satellite Feb. 1, 2006Vinegar Hill Satellite Feb. 1, 2006

Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority photographic archives, copied Feb. 5, 2007 by Blair Hawkins.
Pic 0. Cover Page "Vinegar Hill"

  1. Pic 1. 4 photos. Lower Right "S.A. COINERS" on S. First St.
  2. Pic 2. 4 photos.
  3. Pic 3. 4 photos.
  4. Pic 4. 4 photos. Upper Right: Industrial building on S. First across the street from Coiner’s.
  5. Pic 5. 4 photos.
  6. Pic 6. 4 photos.
  7. Pic 7. 4 photos.
  8. Pic 8. 4 photos.
  9. Pic 9. 2 photos.
  10. Pic 10. 2 photos. Lower: Vinegar Hill after clearance looking toward Main, National Bank tower and Monticello Hotel.

  11. Pic 11. 2 photos.
  12. Pic 12. 2 photos.
  13. Pic 13. 2 photos. Lower: H.M. Gleason with white stucco, train car and buildings behind.
  14. Pic 14. 2 photos. Upper: Parrott St. Lower: Junkyard at Parrott and Diggs.
  15. Pic 15. 3 photos. Middle: Pollocks Branch at Garrett and 6th.
  16. Pic 16. 3 photos.
  17. Pic 17. 2 photos. Upper: 3rd & Irving St.. Lower: 4th St. looking from 1926 Jefferson School.
  18. Pic 18. One photo. Top of Vinegar Hill looking to Lane High/County Office Building, shows McIntire Rd.
  19. Pic 19. One photo. Pics 19 to 22 SW Vinegar Hill showing Lane and backside of McGuffey property.
  20. Pic 20. One photo.

  21. Pic 21. One photo.
  22. Pic 22. One photo.
  23. Pic 23. One photo.
  24. Pic 24. One photo. Sit work for McGuffey Condos.
  25. Pic 25. Vinegar Hill West Main store fronts and pothole repair similar to Pic26
  26. Pic 26. One photo. Vinegar Hill West Main store fronts.
  27. Pic 27. One photo. Vinegar Hill where Main splits of from Preston, now the peak of Omni Hotel. Kaine Furniture, Reynolds Southern Electric, Victory Shoes, Ritter Finance Loans.
  28. Pic 28. 2 photos. Upper: Barber Sop, Pool Room on W. Main district late 1950s.
  29. Pic 29. 2 photos.
  30. Pic 30. 2 photos. Upper: Pre-Mall Main St. looking west with Miller & Rhoads and National Bank on right before the fire at Central Place.

  31. Pic 31. 2 photos. Upper: "HAWKINS’" glass store front.
  32. Pic 32. 2 photos. Lower: Lafayette Theater. "FOR SALE THEATRE EQUIPMENT"
  33. Pic 33. One photo. "372 Commerce Street. June 1960. dup?"
  34. Pic 34. One photo. 358 Commerce Street. Oct, 1962. Inside view of fireplace and lady.
  35. Pic 35. One photo. Another view of 358 Commerce St. Oct. 1962.
  36. Pic 36. One photo. Oct. 1962.
  37. Pic 37. 2 photos. Both of 216 4th St NW Feb. ‘63
  38. Pic 38. 2 photos. 358 Commerce and Mason Alley or 369 Commerce near Brown St? Feb. ’63.
  39. Pic 39. One photo. Lady near outhouse. March 1963.
  40. Pic 40. 2 photos. Upper: Commerce St. March 1963. Lower: Cox’s Row April 1963.

  41. Pic 41. One photo. "Winter ‘63-‘64"
  42. Pic 42. One photo. Vinegar Hill Brown St. with Monticello Hotel in distance.
  43. Pic 43. 2 photos. Feb. ’64.
  44. Pic 44. One photo. Piedmont Cleaners, Vinegar Hill pre-clearance from Market and McGuffey concrete retaining wall.
  45. Pic 45. One photo. Reynolds Southern Electric and Piedmont Cleaners, pre-clearance Vinegar Hill. Feb 25, 1964.
  46. Pic 46. One photo. March 1965. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill looking toward Jefferson School across modern site of McDonalds.
  47. Pic 47. 2 photos.
  48. Pic 48. 2 photos. "Duplicate?"
  49. Pic 49. 2 photos. "Near 6th St SE Garrett St. Area. May 1967."
  50. Pic 50. One photo. Garrett St. looking west from 6th SE. Brady-Bushy Ford "TORINO!" Billboard. Ware St. begins on passenger side where car is coming down street, just beyond "Transit Co."

  51. Pic 51. One photo. SW corner of Levy and 6th SE showing street names.
  52. Pic 52. One photo. 4th St. underpass with Norcross on right, Miller & Rhoads in distance and before Water St. Parking Garage.
  53. Pic 53. One photo. Looks like 2nd SE and back entrance to IX, Carter’s Mountain in distance.
  54. Pic 54. One photo.
  55. Pic 55. One photo. DETTOR, EDWARDS & MORRIS WHOLESALE GROCERIES. Beck-Cohen building in view and "near Avon Bridge."
  56. Pic 56. One photo.
  57. Pic 57. One photo.
  58. Pic 58. 2 photos. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill Mar. 3, 1968. Lower: building across Preston from Lane High survived initial clearance but Wendy’s is there now.
  59. Pic 59. One photo. Garrett St. May, 1968.
  60. Pic 60. One photo. Post-it notes say Garrett and 6th , June 1970. But this is Preston and McIntire looking toward Jefferson School, FOR SALE billboards, phone co. building under construction at top of photo, NW corner 4th NW and W. Main. The building in Pic58B Mar. 3, 1968 is no longer there.

  61. Pic 61. One photo. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill from Market St.
  62. Pic 62. One photo. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill from south showing Monney Oldsmobile, Lane High, McIntire Road.
  63. Pic 63. 2 photos. Page St. 12-18-70.
  64. Pic 64. 2 photos. Upper: 104 Diggs St. Aug. 11, 1970. R-44. Lower: 6th St SE Aug. 11, 1970. R-44.
  65. Pic 65. One photo. Garrett and 6th SE. Sept 1971. Billboard "Garrett Street Redevelopment Project. Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority."
  66. Pic 66. 2 photos. Upper: 1st and South looking toward Garrett and H.M. Gleason. Lower: From Ridge Street Bridge over railroad looking at southside of W. Garrett St. including Standard Produce.
  67. Pic 67. 2 photos. Upper: From Avon looking west down Levy Avenue toward 6th SE and Garrett St. Lower: Belmont Ave looking west toward 6th SE.
  68. Pic 68. 2 photos. Upper: Oak St. and S. 1st. Lower: From Ridge St. at convenience store looking east.
  69. Pic 69. 2 photos. Upper: Garrett and 6th SE looking west down Garrett.
  70. Pic 70. 4 photos.

  71. Pic 71. 4 photos. Upper Right: another Garrett & 6th Se looking down Garrett, Lower Right: another Levy from Avon.
  72. Pic 72. 3 photos.
  73. Pic 73. 2 photos.
  74. Pic 74. 2 photos.
  75. Pic 75. 2 photos.
  76. Pic 76. 2 photos.
  77. Pic 77. 3 photos.
  78. Pic 78. 4 photos.
  79. Pic 79. 4 photos.
  80. Pic 80. 4 photos.

  81. Pic 81. 4 photos.
  82. Pic 82. 4 photos.
  83. Pic 83. 4 photos.
  84. Pic 84. 4 photos. Lower Left: "ALLENS STORE MEAT GROCERIES"
  85. Pic 85. 2 photos.
  86. Pic 86. 2 photos.
  87. Pic 87. 2 photos.
  88. Pic 88. 2 photos.
  89. Pic 89. One photo. Water St., Lewis & Clark tower, Federal Courthouse on Vinegar Hill.
  90. Pic 90. 2 photos of H.M. Gleason Co.

  91. Pic 91. 2 photos.
  92. Pic 92. 3 photos.
  93. Pic 93. 3 photos. Diggs and Parrott St looking west. 601 6th St. SE.
  94. Pic 94. One photo. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill looking south toward Midway School.
  95. Pic 95. One photo. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill and Lane High.
  96. Pic 96. One photo.
  97. Pic 97. One photo.
  98. Pic 98. One photo.
  99. Pic 99. One photo.
  100. Pic 100. One photo.

  101. Pic 101. One photo.
  102. Pic 102. One photo. Pre-clearance Vinegar Hill W. Main businesses.
  103. Pic 103. One photo.
  104. Pic 104. One photo. Pre-clearance Vinegar Hill W. Main businesses.
  105. Pic 105. 2 photos. Closeup of Russell Mooney Oldsmobile at top of Vinegar Hill.
  106. Pic 106. 2 photos. From Vinegar Hill storefronts looking east into downtown proper.
  107. Pic 107. 2 photos. Lower: Pre-Mall Downtown view shed from east-end looking west down E. Main with 2-way traffic.
  108. Pic 108. 2 photos. Lower: Lafayette and Jefferson Theaters in one picture, Robinsons (later Woolworth’s) in-between. Pre-Mall Main Street.
  109. Pic 109. 3 photos. (A) 230 4th St. Oct. 1962. (B) 311 Commerce St. Oct 1962. (C) 218 4th St. Oct. 1962.
  110. Pic 110. One photo. 358 Commerce St. Oct. 1962.

  111. Pic 111. 2 photos. Both 358 Commerce St. Oct. 1962.
  112. Pic 112. 2 photos. 216 4th St. or 358 Commerce. Feb. 1963.
  113. Pic 113. 2 photos. 332 Commerce St. Feb. ’63.
  114. Pic 114. 2 photos. (A) Smith’s Row. Feb. ’63. (B) Corner of 4th and Commerce.
  115. Pic 115. One photo. March 1963.
  116. Pic 116. 2 photos. Cox’s Row April 1963 (Modern Westhaven).
  117. Pic 117. One photo. Brown St. Commerce St. Winter ‘63-’64.
  118. Pic 118. 2 photos. (A) M.C. THOMAS EXCHANGE STORE. REAR ENTRANCE. (B) W. Main Vinegar Hill looking west from Mud House area with snow.
  119. Pic 119. 2 photos.
  120. Pic 120. One photo. Page and 4th. Feb. 25, 1964.

  121. Pic 121. One photo. Feb. 25, 1964.
  122. Pic 122. 2 photos. Garrett St. area. May 1967.
  123. Pic 123. 2 photos.
  124. Pic 124. 2 photos.
  125. Pic 125. One photos. Sam’s Snack Bar. Nov. 1967. S. 1st and industrial building on right. (Near modern Crescent Halls.)
  126. Pic 126. One photo. Junkyard near S. 1st, Diggs, Parrott.
  127. Pic 127. One photo.
  128. Pic 128. One photo.
  129. Pic 129. One photo. 600 block Levy Ave from Avon St. (Since 1972 as a parking lot, rents for $1 a year.)
  130. Pic 130. One photo. H.M. Gleason and W. Garrett.

  131. Pic 131. One photo.
  132. Pic 132. One photo. Ridge and Oak St. looking east to S. 1st.
  133. Pic 133. 2 photos. Vinegar Hill post-1964 clearance and pre-1968 clearance (Modern site of Wendy’s.)
  134. Pic 134. 2 photos. (A) May 1968. SW & SE corners 6th SE,, Garrett, & Levy looking south down Old Scottsville Rd (6th). Allen’s Store behind the picture taker.
  135. Pic 135. One photo. 13th St. NW. May 1970.
  136. Pic 136. One photo.
  137. Pic 137. One photo.
  138. Pic 138. One photo. Post-clearance Vinegar Hill. From Main St. near Mud House (Virginia Lunch) looking west all the way to 1958 portion of Jefferson School. Shows Victory Shoes and Wings & Things (ESCAFE).
  139. Pic 139. One photo. Apr. 1971. 713 Lexington Ave. List $23,500.
  140. Pic 140. 2 photos. (A) 6th SE at Jessup Alley. Nov. 1970. (B) Page St. Dec. 8, 1970.

  141. Pic 141. One photo. Relocation Office on Ware St. 509 Ware is the much larger, older house on left.
  142. Pic 142. 2 photos. (A) Diggs and Ridge. (B) 2nd SE and South St.
  143. Pic 143. 2 photos. (A) Garrett and 6th SE looking south down 6th. (B) Looking from 4th SE railroad bridge showing where the buses used to park.
  144. Pic 144. 2 photos.
  145. Pic 145. 2 photos. (A) Elliott Ice Co. from 4th SE railroad bridge.
  146. Pic 146. 4 photos. (C) Lower Left: Ridge & Dice looking east.
  147. Pic 147. 4 photos.
  148. Pic 148. 4 photos. (A) Another shot from Avon west down Levy. Charlottesville Lumber/Better Living on right (1890-2010, now under demolition.) Notice you can’t see down Garrett because the streets did not line up at the bridge. (B) From Ridge railroad bridge looking SW at W. Garrett. (C) Another looking down Garrett from 6th SE.
  149. Pic 149. 2 photos. (A) Levy Ave St Sign. (B) Another of Levy from Avon,
  150. Pic 150. 2 photos. (A) Another from Ridge railroad bridge looking at W. Garrett. (B) From 4th SE railroad bridge looking south at parked cars and buses.

  151. Pic 151. 2 photos. (A) Another of Garrett from 6th SE. This time houses on left no longer there. (B) Another from Ridge and Dice looking east.
  152. Pic 152. One photo.

Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority photographic archives, copied June 2005 by Blair Hawkins.

  1. Pic 1.
  2. Pic 2.
  3. Pic 3.
  4. Pic 4.
  5. Pic 5.
  6. Pic 6.
  7. Pic 7.
  8. Pic 8.
  9. Pic 9.
  10. Pic 10.
  11. Pic 11.
  12. Pic 12.
  13. Pic 13.
  14. Pic 14.
  15. Pic 15.
  16. Pic 16.
  17. Pic 17.

Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority photographic archives, copied August 2005 by Blair Hawkins.

  1. Pic 1. 509 Ware St. owned 1960-1971 by Laura Dowell. (The house I called home until 5th grade.)
  2. Pic 2. 522 Ware St.
  3. Pic 3. 520 Ware St.
  4. Pic 4. 516 Ware St.
  5. Pic 5. 412 Ware St.
  6. Pic 6. 522 Ware St. basement.
  7. Pic 7. 521 Ware St. owned by Annie Moses.
  8. Pic 8. 509 Ware St.

The first 10 pics from June 2005 and the 8 from August 2005 are also published in "An inconvenient truth: Report from Housing Authority: Update on archives, HUD request", July 17, 2006. On all 3 occasions where I had access to the archives, assistant city manager Rochelle Small-Toney presented only these hand-picked items. Later Small-Toney claimed I had been given complete access.

Below are a few newspaper articles you can read. It just seems so illiterate to have only pictures.

Daily Progress news articles.

  1. "Historic 'Cold Steam Building' Yields To Modern-Day Needs", Apr. 16, 1952. Picture of Alexander Garrett's mansion built 1820s on 117-acre Oak Hill Farm. "Garrett was a friend and financial advisor of Thomas Jefferson and the first bursar of the University of Virginia. He was present at Monticello when Jefferson died on July 4, 1826. The following is an excerpt from a letter he wrote his wife shortly thereafter: 'Mr. Jefferson is no more. He breathed his last ten minutes before one o'clock, almost without a struggle. No one here but Col. Carr and myself, both of us ignorant of shrouding, neither ever having done it ourselves or seen it done. We have done the best we could and I hope all is right. his remains will be buried tomorrow.'"
  2. "Cab Company Owner Thinks Fire Was Set", July 15, 1969. "Fire broke out in the Yellow Cab and Transit Co. garage early this morning and caused an estimated $75,000 worth of damage to the Garrett Street structure and equipment inside. Owner J.T. Graves said this morning, 'I think the fire was set.'"
  3. "Transit Garage Ablaze", July 15, 1969.
  4. Picture of Kenneth and Dorothy Allen of Allens Store at Garrett and 6th. "Tree-Shaded Diggs Street Is One Slated For Removal", May 1, 1977, by Ray McGrath of the Progress Staff.
  5. "Tree-Shaded Diggs Street Is One Slated For Removal", May 1, 1977, by Ray McGrath of the Progress Staff. "But any day now, though most likely not until the summer's end, Allen's Store may go the way of all old buildings in urban renewal. That way is down. For the time being the area has been converted into a ghost town, only without the buildings. Of a total 184 structures formerly in the clearance zone, more than 80 percent residential, seven remain, according to A.E. Arrington, executive director of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority...But this tale is not one of the bureaucratic ogre mercilessly trampling over the unsuspecting little guy...By all accounts, the Authority's handling of Allen's situation appears to be reflective of its dislocation policy generally toward residents and businesses in the project area. For one thing, Allen has been holding on to Arrington's letter since Jan. 15. Originally he was supposed to move out before Christmas, but obtained an extension to stay in business through the holidays...The present redevelopment plans call for both federally subsidized and private housing projects and the maintenance of a few large industries...This would not be the first time Allen has had to surrender his property. (Technically, he already has since the Authority owns it and charges rent.) He is also a former resident of Sixth Street, but had to give up his house to urban renewal."

    This article is an example of propaganda to spin the situation favorably for the Authority. How merciful they must be to seize your life's work, then allow you to stay and pay rent. How merciful they must be to let you stay with a 3-day lease instead of 30 days or 60 days. We won't know the accuracy of the number of "184" structures until the merciful Housing Authority has released the full archives--minus the ones gone missing over the years. Yeah, in 2004 Small-Toney said the archives were shrinking even under the safe-guard of the Authority.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good afternoon-

I am contacting you for two reasons. One is that I sit on Celebrate 250 Advisory Committee which has been charged to organize celebration events in 2012 for the 250th anniversary of Charlottesville's founding. We hope that one of the features of the celebration will be photographic displays which would have early photos (Then) along with an image of what occupies the site now (Now). I would like to be able to get into the archives of the Garrett Street Urban Renewal Project. Could you suggest the best way for me to proceed on that?

The other reason is that I was the owner of one of the businesses that was displaced when that renewal took place. Because I knew the neighborhood well I have fairly strong recollections of the locations of various businesses and I feel that I could be helpful in identifying some of those locations. I have only viewed a few of the images on your site but have seen errors.

I live in Charlottesville and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you, if you are local, to discuss these images.

Preston Coiner

6/15/2011 3:58 PM  
Blogger Blair said...

Thanks. My blog has many minor errors. I update the information with later blog posts. For example it wasn't until 2006 that the earliest history of Jefferson School came into focus. I welcome corrections.

As a former businessman in pre-Downtown Extended, you must know your history has been lost from public discourse. For more history you might try the archives of Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, from which documents and photos have been stolen over the years. Just because they're off-limits to me, they may allow someone else to see them. Since these archives have been closed to me since March 25, 2004, much of my info comes from deeds, newspaper archives, what people tell me and what I remember. You may need to file a FOIA because these are the most controversial records in city hall.

Good luck Preston. But I think at the end of the town's 250th year, the historical factoid that Queen Charlotte was black should eclipse the surprising fact there was an urban renewal project larger and more recent than Vinegar Hill.

Council refuses to release urban renewal archives: Jefferson School conflict of interest: Blighted House has until Feb 15, Nov. 21, 2006 Includes speech delivered by Blair Hawkins and documentation of the first request to view the housing archives March 25, 2004.

First Baptist Church site of first Jefferson School, Feb. 25, 2007 Where UVA historian Scot French and colleagues give the numbers of artifacts: 6,845 documents and 1,189 photos. They publish a report on Vinegar Hill and omit the story of urban renewal, in which Vinegar Hill is a minor player. The Carter G Woodson Institute also got tainted with this ongoing revision of history.

6/20/2011 7:22 PM  

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