Press "Enter" to skip to content

Historical survey for 10th and Page neighborhood delayed

Charlottesville officials have put a historical survey of the 10th and Page neighborhood on hold.

The survey was delayed after residents asked for more information at a Nov. 6 meeting, according to Jeff Werner, the city’s preservation and design planner.

Werner said that about 30 people attended the meeting and that a few weren’t in favor of the project while others had questions about it.

He said the survey — originally expected to finish in June 2020 — is temporarily on hold while the city continues outreach.

The predominantly African American neighborhood was supposed to be surveyed over the winter to open up the prospect of a historic designation, which may increase funding opportunities to protect historic resources.

Since 2000, at least 36 homes built before 1960 have been razed, including 24 that were built before 1920, according to city documents.

The neighboring areas of Rugby Road/University Corner, West Main Street, Starr Hill and Rose Hill already have been surveyed.

In October, the City Council signed off on spending $21,060 received from the state and allocating the remaining matching funds from the city for the $50,900 survey.

Property owners were mailed a letter on Nov. 19 about another meeting scheduled for Dec. 5.

According to the letter, historians would take exterior photographs and write brief descriptions of each building constructed before 1960.

All work would occur from the public right-of-way, the letter says.

The survey also would determine the boundaries of a possible future National Register of Historic Places district that would provide tax credits to rehabilitation projects.

The neighborhood includes about 480 parcels on roughly 100 acres. It is bordered by 13th Street Northwest, Page Street, railroad tracks on the east side and Preston Avenue.

According to city estimates, 344 of the neighborhood’s 435 structures were built before 1960.

Most of the older structures are single-family homes, with 230 houses built before 1930.

Four apartment buildings and 13 commercial buildings were constructed before 1960.

Four properties have a local historic designation — 134 10th St. NW, which is the former Coca-Cola Bottling building; 946 Grady Ave., Monticello Dairy; 1000 Preston Ave., the Southern Bakery Building; and 212 E. Rosser Ave., which is the Holy Temple Church of Christ.

African Americans make up 54% of the population in the 10th and Page neighborhood, one of the highest levels of any area of the city.

According to city documents, the African American presence in the neighborhood was facilitated by John West, an emancipated slave who began amassing real estate after the Civil War.

West later subdivided the land that he purchased and sold it to African American families up until his death in 1927.

In the area north of Grady Avenue, the Rev. Charles H. Brown worked with local civil rights leader Drewary Brown in the 1960s to help African American families acquire properties and secure financing to build homes.

Charles Brown built Holy Temple Church of Christ at the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue in 1947.

According to the 1930 Census, 275 of the 500 households in the neighborhood at the time were African American. Of those, 156 were owner-occupied.

The neighborhood is also home to the Westhaven public housing development, which was constructed in the 1960s around the time that the city razed Vinegar Hill, a historically African American neighborhood.

Westhaven won’t be part of the survey because it previously has been documented, but its impact on the neighborhood would be included in a narrative of the 10th and Page history.

The Dec. 5 meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 211 Albemarle St.


Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: