Place  /  Exhibit

Planned Destruction

A brief history on land ownership, valuation and development in the City of Richmond and the maps used to destroy black communities.

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Drawing on primarily government sources and maps created by Harland Bartholomew, this story map tells the story of the devaluation and destruction of neighborhoods in Downtown Richmond, Virginia through comprehensive plan. This is just the beginning of a larger project which will explore urban renewal's destructive impact on the African American community as well as document the many victims of displacement in the former capital of the Confederacy.

It is the author's goal to use GIS software to digitally reconstruct and repopulate Richmond's lost communities in an effort to document and preserve a part of African American history in Richmond that has been forgotten. Thank you for your interest and stay tuned!

It All Started with a Plan...

More on Harland Bartholomew

Harland Bartholomew, an urban planner, was hired by the City of Richmond, Virginia during the period of the 1930s-1940s to create the first comprehensive plan for the city.

Bartholomew had completed comprehensive plans for the cities of St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky as well as many other locations across the United States.

According to The Racist History of Zoning Laws by Michael H. Wilson, Bartholomew denigrated African Americans and suggested that the races be separated to protect “…neighborhood property values.”

Bartholomew's planning projects laid the foundation for “urban renewal” in the United States. This process was also known as "Negro Removal" by those who were displaced from their communities during the period.