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Group calls for Jefferson Hotel boycott in bid to save church

Second Baptist Church rally.png
Posted at 11:35 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 14:00:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A last ditch effort is underway to save the historic Second Baptist Richmond church located next to the Jefferson Hotel.

A group of grass root folks rallied in front of the shuttered church on Friday night.

According to city records the church is scheduled to be demolished by the property owners of the Jefferson Hotel on Wednesday, March 16. They want to take down the building, backfill and landscape, according to city documents.

Walter Dotts said he came out to save the church from the wrecking ball. He said it’s important part of history because it’s where University of Richmond started. Others called it one of top 10 best buildings in Richmond.

“Richmond has a wonderful historical collection of buildings and that doesn’t just happen by accident. People have to stand up for what they believe in,” said John Heckle.

Folks hope the pattern of delayed demolition will continue. The hotel owners first filed and were approved to tear it down back in 1992.

The approved permit resurfaced and got put in motion in 2021. City records show the building should already be demolished.

However, folks attending the rally state it got delayed until now, as talks with the hotel owner and historical society were underway at one point.

“There are plenty of adaptive reuses for this building. For the last 50 years people have been restoring buildings all over the country,” said Joe Yates, an architect who is in support of the building staying.

WTVR CBS 6 did reach out to both the city and the owners to get details on the demolition and if it has the chance of being canceled. However, as of Friday night we had not heard back.

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