Redefining a Southern City's Heritage: Historic Preservation Planning, Public Art, and Race in Richmond, Virginia

Author: Hodder, Robert

Publication Year: 2005

Media Type: Periodical (article)


This article examines local politics, racial attitudes, and public art standards in Richmond, VA, through the lens of a case study- the erection of the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue.

Abstract: Historic preservation is a planning technique employed in many American metropolitan areas. A local ordinance specifies those districts that deserve careful attention, then an Architectural Review Board determines whether or not the proposed redevelopment schemes are appropriate for the historic design character of those precincts. Today, there are over 1,800 such boards in place, making critical decisions on rehabilitations, infill development, urban amenities, and public art projects. This narrative examines the siting of a public art project within an historic district in Richmond, Virginia: The district is the Monument Avenue Historic District, and the public art project is the sculpture of Arthur Ashe, which is sited within that historic area. In the process that culminated in the Arthur Ashe statue taking its place on Monument Avenue, the activities of public planning institutions were central. But the ultimate decision was the product, as well, of local politics, racial attitudes, public art standards, and passionate concern for the integrity of an historic landscape. This article seeks to illuminate the intricacies of that local decision-making process.

Arts & Intersections: History & Heritage

Categories: Tourism, Public Art, Heritage & Preservation, Cultural Planning, Cultural Diversity, Cultural Districts, Creative Industries, Community Development


Series Title: Journal of Urban Affairs

Edition: Volume 21 Issue 4



Pages: 437

Resources: Document


Name: Wiley (formerly Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)

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