‘Bold’ move planned for Richmond’s Black History Museum

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-28 09:54:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- While efforts to build a national slavery museum are tied up in court, the campaign to relocate and revitalize Richmond’s Black History Museum is having success.

The goal of the “Bold Vision, Bright Future” campaign is to move the museum from its current location on Clay Street to the historic Leigh Street Armory by early 2015.

Dominion Resources recently committed a half million dollars to the project.

Project leaders say relocating to the Armory will be a perfect fit.

“We’re talking about history, black history in Richmond and the state,” says Dr. Monroe Harris, Chairman of the capital campaign. “This is an integral part of that. Traditionally the African American history museum has taken on and perpetuated those stories over the years."

“It gives us a chance to do a wider range of the kinds of things that a museum had to do today to be a success,” says Stacy Burrs, Chairman of the Board. “A community gathering space that has a museum attached to it,” says Burrs.

The campaign has raised about $3 million so far and needs to raise $10 million to make the new museum a reality.

The Leigh Street Armory was built in 1895 for the African American Military Battalion of Richmond. It’s where black soldiers would conduct drills and prepare for battle. Over the years it’s been used as a school and community center.