The Queen Anne-style mansion in the Barton Heights neighborhood of North Richmond had fallen into disrepair.
The Barton Mansion had been boarded up since 2001. The roof was collapsing about five years ago and the three-story home was supported by only a thin layer of concrete.
Richmond developer Clark Glavé had a love for old buildings. He bought the mansion and undertook a major multimillion dollar rehabilitation using historic tax credits to turn the former private home — which later became a sanitarium and a nursing home — into 17 apartments.
The redevelopment of the Barton Mansion — a key catalyst sparking the revitalization of Southern Barton Heights neighborhood — won a Golden Hammer award for the best adaptive reuse.
Also winning an award in the best adaptive reuse category was outdoor furniture maker and wholesaler McKinnon and Harris’ relocation to a 1940’s warehouse for its corporate headquarters, regional showroom and fabrication facility.
The two projects were among 10 developments in the Richmond area that were deemed to be the best in their categories as part of the annual Golden Hammer awards, which are sponsored by Historic Richmond and Storefront for Community Design.
There were 29 projects nominated for the awards, which recognizes the best in historic preservation, blight reduction and neighborhood revitalization. Eligible projects had to be completed after Jan. 1, 2019, and be located in the city of Richmond or in Chesterfield, Hanover or Henrico counties.
The awards program was started in 2000 with a goal of honoring excellence in neighborhood revitalization projects across the Richmond region. An event is usually held to honor the recipients but it was canceled this year because of the pandemic.
The McKinnon and Harris building on Arlington Road just off of North Arthur Ashe Boulevard near Interstate 95 had been used for years by Richmond Public Schools for storage. The furniture company bought the building and undertook a complete renovation before relocating from its former space in Scott’s Addition.
The building uses two skylights that floods the showroom with natural light. The floor is French limestone.
The other winners of the Golden Hammer Awards were:
Best New Construction:
- The Island Shrimp Co. restaurant at Chesterfield Towne Center used 12 shipping containers stacked three high and glass walls that created an atrium-like interior space illuminated by skylights by day and tropical neon signage by night. The Island Shrimp Co. along with Casa del Barco restaurant opened last fall by HOUSEpitality Family, the group that runs The Boathouse restaurants and others. Both restaurants have a rooftop patio and the patios are connected by a party bridge.
- Kensington Park is a project where developer Reid Pierce renovated a house built in 1900 at 2409 Park Ave. and took the space next to that house and behind it where detached garages had been fronting onto Kensington Avenue and added three contemporary-style homes. The three new-construction homes are at 2411 Park Ave., 2410 Kensington Ave. and 2412 Kensington Ave.
- The house at 2314 Burton St., constructed in 1915, was completely restored. Despite over a decade of vacancy, many of the original elements of the two-story home such as the cornice with brackets, dentils, jigsaw vents, windows, and floors remained relatively intact and were able to be salvaged.
- Midas of Richmond took a former auto transmission garage on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Scott’s Addition, renovated it while preserving the building’s historic features and turned it into one of its car-care shops.
- The Scott House at 909 E. Franklin St. underwent a $7 million renovation. It was designed in 1911 by Richmond architects Noland and Baskervill in the Beaux-Arts style for Frederic and Elisabeth Scott. Virginia Commonwealth University now owns the building.
Community and Social Impact:
- CARITAS, a nonprofit that provides services for families dealing with homelessness or substance-use disorders, renovated a former 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility — formerly a Philip Morris USA plant — to house CARITAS operations. The project involved bringing all of its programs under one roof, including The Healing Place for Women, a 120-bed recovery program for women struggling with addiction; a furniture bank warehouse space; offices; and 47 sober-living apartments for people transitioning from the substance abuse recovery program.
- Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” sculpture was dedicated in December 2019 in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Wiley’s sculpture depicts a muscular, triumphant African American astride a horse, looking defiantly north. It was his response to the Confederate statues that mostly had lined Monument Avenue.
- A group calling itself History Is Illuminating installed six signs resembling historic markers along Monument Avenue near Confederate statues this past summer to spotlight events in local Black history that corresponded with the dates of the statues going up. The unofficial historical markers have since been removed.