RICHMOND, Va. -- The plan to build a new monument along Broad Street to commemorate Maggie Walker was unveiled Saturday at the Richmond Public Library.
Mayor Dwight Jones was in attendance along with several other supporters of the project.
The monument would go in an urban plaza along Broad and Adams Street, where a historic oak tree currently stands. The proposal, sponsored by Mayor Jones, suggests closing off the section of Brook Road between Adams and Broad Streets to build the plaza.
CBS 6 asked the mayor about his recent changes on uprooting the tree that he previously said he would not do in exchange for the monument to stand in its place.
“Originally there was talk of trying to see if the statute and the tree could co-exist after further research we found that it would diminish Maggie Walker if the tree and statue were on the same little piece of land,” Jones said. “Things evolve, you act on the information you have and so the information changed so my position changed with the information.”
Maggie Walker is best known for being the first woman to charter and serve as president of a bank in the US. Her home in the 100 block of E. Leigh Street in Jackson Ward is a federally protected National Historic Site.
The monument is expected to be completed by fall of 2016.
While the unveiling was taking place, a group of protesters gathered where the tree currently stands, rallying to save the live oak tree.
Protesters said they believe the tree should stand and the monument should be put inside a under developed park elsewhere in the city.