RICHMOND (WRIC) - The Valentine Richmond History Center closed its gallery doors last fall for a major renovation project. It's a sign of change at the Valentine and taking Richmond's history into the future.
Six months into construction and the museum is a shell of itself. Precious artifacts are packed away and doors are down.
There are plans to add more windows, helping the inside and outside to become one.
Director Bill Martin says this will soon make way for new exhibitions, a new education center and brand new gallery for costumes and textiles. Not one space is going untouched.
"It's actually saying in concrete - pardon the pun - ways this institution is committed and connected to the city."
While renovating a room, contractors found an early list of paintings on the wall -- giving them another glimpse at how it used to be.
"You peel away layers and there's history underneath," Martin says. "You never know what you're going to find."
There are still about six more months of construction to go, but it's business as usual at the Valentine.
The Wickham House is open, a new season of walking tours will start in a few weeks and plans for new programs at this virtually brand new museum are underway.
"While parts of us are closed, the galleries what people think about, much of what we do continues in the community," Martin says.
The Valentine will reopen this fall in time for the 2014 History Makers Awards -- a night honoring people and organizations who have helped to shape the Richmond area.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond _____________________________________________