RICHMOND (WRIC)—The plan to bring a ballpark to Shockoe Bottom has the support of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and a lot of money, but a historical preservation group believes it has a better idea, one that will both allow for economic development and keep history intact.
When Ana Edwards looks at East Broad and Crane streets in Shockoe Bottom, she sees history.
"We can treat this area like Jamestown, like Williamsburg, like Yorktown," Edwards said.
Edwards and others would like to honor Richmond's slave trade history; they've started the Defenders Sacred Ground Project to preserve the area, and keep anyone from building a baseball stadium there.
"During the Civil War and at the end of the Civil War, this is what Richmond looked like, and all of this area was involved in the trade," Edwards said. "We're talking about an area which has yet to be fully reclaimed, and a story of Richmond's history that has yet to be fully told."
Mayor Jones has a plan to build a slave trade museum in Shockoe Bottom, along with a ballpark, shops and apartments. But Edwards and the Defenders Sacred Ground Project believe there's more history to be discovered at the proposed construction site.
"This project is so enormous that you can't even see the Lumpkins Jail site," Edwards said. "It's behind the stadium, it's behind the apartment complex, it's behind the hotels. Don't plow it under and don't bury things on top of it."
Edwards and other backers of the Defenders Sacred Ground Project have sent their plans to Richmond City Council members and the Mayor's Office, but have yet to present them in person.
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