Four local revitalization projects were recognized with Golden Hammer Awards by the Better Housing Coalition at an event last week.
The annual awards, which recognize contributions to thoughtful revitalization of Richmond-area neighborhoods, went to developers behind a restored 19th-century building in Church Hill, a modernist house in Jackson Ward, a preserved house in Union Hill, and a pedestrian bridge to a park in Woodland Heights.
Progress Realty Group won in the category of best adaptive reuse for its restoration of an 1870s Italianate building at 2025 Venable St. in Church Hill into commercial and residential space.
Best new construction went to John Ryan and Wesley Chenault, the owners behind a modernist urban design row house at 20 W. Leigh St. that judges said complements the tall, narrow profile of neighboring residences in Jackson Ward.
Best residential renovation went to a project that preserved a house at 2305 Venable St. in Union Hill. Located in a visible corridor, the house was valued by the city at $1,000 prior to renovation.
And the fourth Golden Hammer, for best placemaking project, went to designer Sara Shirley of landscape architecture firm Stewart/HG for the 21st Street Pedestrian Bridge Park in Woodland Heights. Judges described the project as “an inviting, environmentally sustainable entrance to the James River Park System” that complements the park’s natural beauty and preserves old-growth trees.
Each award winner also won the event’s people’s choice awards, except in the new construction category. That people’s choice award went to an infill office and apartments project at 417 N. 22nd St. in Union Hill.
An honorable mention was also given in the residential renovation category to the “Honor’s Corner” project at 3200 Floyd Ave. for its use of green-building techniques that earned it a LEED gold certification.
Judges included Ma’at Free of UntoldRVA, Andrea Levine of One South Realty, John Murden of Church Hill People’s News, and Ryan Rinn of Storefront for Community Design.
The coalition also awarded this year’s Groundbreaker Awards, recognizing leadership in vibrant community building, to Richmond Promise Neighborhood (community development), Sacred Heart Center (education), ChildSavers (health), Bike Walk RVA (transportation) and Virginia LISC/Bon Secours SEED Grant Program (workforce development).
This is the 16th year the coalition has awarded Golden Hammers to honor notable revitalization projects.