June 15, 2 pm - Downtown RVa Walk - Capitol and Court End

This is the next in a series of Downtown RVa Walks. This time, we leave the riverside for the first time for a walk on Father's Day through the state capitol grounds and the historic neighborhood of Court End. We will meet at the Washington Equestrian Statute, talk a bit about the statute, then take a leisurely walk around the Thomas Jefferson-designed Capitol building he based on a Roman temple in France. We will note the various historic buildings on Capitol Square including the old Bell Tower. We will talk about the Executive (Governor's) Mansion, the oldest in continuous use in America. There are statues dedicated to black Virginians and their struggle for equal rights, Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Edgar Allen Poe and others.

We will then leave Capitol Square, pass the historic Old City Hall and not-quite-so-historic "new" City Hall and head across East Broad Street into what was formerly a popular and wealthy neighborhood in the late 18th c and through the 19th c. Although much of the neighborhood has been occupied by massive hospitals and other buildings supporting the VCU Medical Center, there are historic treasures remaining. The John Marshall House, home of the most prominent citizen of the neighborhood and our country's first Chief Justice. The Wickham - Valentine House and other lovely homes on that same block of East Clay St. The Confederate White House, home of CSA President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. The former First Baptist Church Building, now renovated for VCU/MCV student lounge and support services. The old MCV West Hospital, which was threatened with demolition but saved.

The Monumental Church, built as a memorial to those that died in a tragic theater fire and which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

The Egyptian Building, built in the rare "Egyptian Revival" style and still used for its original purpose, medical classrooms. The First African Baptist Church, a prominent black church since the years before the Civil War. We will then return to Capitol Square on Governor's Street, or, those that wish to join me, on down Governor's Street (an old street that predated the street grid) into Shockoe Slip for a visit to the classic Tobacco Company for a refreshing beverage.

I expect our walk will take about 90 minutes to perhaps 2 hours depending on pace and size of the group and how many questions. We will walk about 3 miles or so.

Preparations. A little less adventure with this walk, which is mostly on streets and sidewalks, but I recommend good walking shoes and a bottle of water. About half - way or so through our walk, there are restrooms and a water fountain as we pass through the MCV "Gateway" Building. Bring money for Tobacco Company afterwards.

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  • Andrew

    Thanks to all who went on the walk. Lovely day, beautiful buildings and fun stories! If you have pictures, please upload a few for us all to enjoy. Thanks for going walking with me!

    June 16

    • Pamela T.

      Thanks Andrew , for another informative hike through the city. I had already been on a ten mile hike with cvt and being on meds for a toothache but I did not want to miss possibly your last hike for a while . Just like I thought I would have been sorry of I missed it. James river hikers has a meetup tonight and are ending at Casa fe barco after the joke. It would be nice to have a beer with you and Karen of y'all are not busy

      June 17

  • brenda

    very informative, learned more Richmond history.

    June 16

  • Nancy C.

    What a lovely day, very interesting hike, great Richmond history, great people..thanks Andrew!

    1 · June 16

    • Andrew

      You're welcome, Nancy! Had a great time on the history walk and at Tobacco Company afterwards.

      June 16

  • Alison

    Enjoyed my first time with the James River Hikers. Thanks Andrew for a very interesting outing.

    2 · June 15

    • Dave A.

      Alison, this is a great group that hosts a variety of hikes you will love! Welcome! We hope to see you soon!

      June 15

  • Dottie

    What a great tour on a great weather day, thank you, Andrew!

    3 · June 15

    • Andrew

      Thanks so much, Dottie!

      June 15

  • Eileen J.

    Excellent experience and great people.

    June 15

  • Zafira

    Thanks Andrew for a really interesting and informative walk !!

    June 15

  • Dave A.

    This was my first meetup with Andrew as the host. He was excellent! He was pleasant and knowledgable about the Capitol and Court End. The gathering at the Tobacco Company was great! It was a rewarding way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

    2 · June 15

  • Brian S.

    Hate to miss this, but thanks to a late Father's Day lunch I'm not going to get there in time. Have a great hike!

    June 15

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