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Goodwin mansion demolished

Jonathan Spiers June 26, 2017 10

Crews pile debris into a dump truck on the property at 101 S. Ridge Road. (Jonathan Spiers)

Crews pile debris into a dump truck on the property at 101 S. Ridge Road. (Jonathan Spiers)

The most expensive home sold in the Richmond area in years is now no more than a pricy pile of rubble.

The 80-year-old mansion at 101 S. Ridge Road, purchased last year by Matthew Goodwin for $5.5 million, was demolished last week.

Midday Thursday, the 7,000-square-foot colonial-style home was no longer visible from the road, as crews used an excavator to pile debris into a dump truck. A detached garage and pool house remained intact on the 6.3-acre property near the University of Richmond.

The work appears to clear the way for a new house to be built on the property, which was purchased last June in an off-market sale by 101 South Ridge Road LLC.

The registered agent for that LLC is Goodwin – son of local philanthropists Bill and Alice Goodwin and a principal at his father’s Riverstone Group, which shares downtown offices with Bill Goodwin’s CCA Industries. Bill and Alice Goodwin own a 12-acre estate next door to the Ridge Road property.

A message left for Matt Goodwin at his office Friday morning was not returned.

A demolition permit filed with Henrico County lists the contractor as John W. Montague Jr., a custom homebuilder based in Manakin-Sabot. The work was estimated to cost $50,000. The excavator displayed signage for Richmond demolition firm S.B. Cox.

Built in 1937, the eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion was one of the priciest home sales, if not the most expensive, in the Richmond area in recent memory. Dover Hall, the 33,000-square-foot “castle of Goochland,” sold in 2013 for $5 million.

Meanwhile, a block away from the Goodwin property, another notable residence recently went under contract: the 19th-century Windward mansion, which was listed last June for $2.9 million. The nearly 10,000-square-foot home, owned by Donna Sharp Suro and relocated from Dinwiddie County nearly a century ago, had a sale pending three weeks ago.

Goodwin home

The 80-year-old mansion was purchased last year by Matthew Goodwin. (Jonathan Spiers)

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10 Comments »

  1. Paul Schmidt June 26, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

    It’s not apparent why the current generation chose to demolish this home, and there may we be very legitimate circumstances, it’s sad to see such workmanship and history wiped out. Not a judgement, just an observation.

  2. ron virgin June 26, 2017 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Wise decision by the property owner. Valuable, historic homes have no place in neighborhoods around Ridge Road and should be destroyed. Hopefully the guest house and pool will be dismantled as well.

  3. Sandra M. DeFairia June 27, 2017 at 1:47 am - Reply

    Why was it destroyed? Couldn’t it have been renovated to modern day standards?

  4. Ethan Lindbloom June 27, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

    There’s another way to look at this: land in that neighborhood is now officially $1 million per acre.

  5. Charles York June 27, 2017 at 8:01 am - Reply

    Can’t wait to see the new McMansion go up!

  6. Quinton Hawkins June 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    It seems odd to buy this property if the intention was to destroy the house. Maybe there was damage to the house that is unknown to general public? If the plan is to build a NEW home, then why not build elsewhere and spare this structure?

  7. Sam Sikes June 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    Having watched this process from the beginning, I know the Goodwin’s badly wanted to save the all of the original structures on the property. After months of studying feasibility with the architect and contractor it just didn’t make sense to save the main house as it would have cost more money and still not given them what they were looking for in terms of functionality. In my line of work we are fortunate to get to see many of the interiors of these beautiful older Richmond homes. In many cases the curb appeal far exceeds the functionality of the layout for modern living. Often times you will see low ceilings, small rooms, narrow hallways and staircases in the wrong place. In many cases there are work arounds, but in this case it just didn’t make sense. I know all of the other original structures will be saved. In addition, the goodwin family has a pretty good track record of doing things the right way. I would imagine the new home will be elegant and appropriate like everything they do.

  8. Mia Brandt June 28, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    an 80 year old ersatz colonial is not a great loss. perhaps a smaller, greener and more energy efficient home may take its place. in any case, one can do what one wants with one’s property.

  9. Jay Nathan June 29, 2017 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Mia, as the saying goes “The Greenest Building is the one already standing.”

    Even if the house is replaced by a home with the latest in green technologies and building practices, it would likely take decades for those energy efficiency improvements to justify demolition and reconstruction in terms of the environmental impact.

    Not to say they don’t have every right to tear down and rebuild as they see fit, and one can only hope that whatever they build is as energy efficient as possible but the idea that one can tear down and rebuild for efficiency’s sake is kind of shaky.

  10. Jodie Strum June 29, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    It’s a pretty brick colonial, but I haven’t heard any hard facts that it actually has real historical significance. Three houses from the 40’s on Leonard Parkway have recently been torn down to the foundation, and it certainly wasn’t newsworthy. I’d say if there was a family that had done right by Richmond, for decades, it would be this family. Let’s trust their judgement on this one.

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