Future of ‘Ark of Colonial Heights’ uncertain


COLONIAl HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) — Residents want to know what’s next for the ‘Ark of Colonial Heights.’

John Davis spent more than 30 years building the ark and it’s become a local landmark. When Davis died his family members sold the boat and land to different people.

The man who bought the 65-foot tall ark is from Virginia Beach. He planned to move it back there in December 2018 yet it’s anchored on Farris Avenue.

People of many ages recall seeing the ark being built in 1969. Fifty years later, the masterpiece still stands although some say it’s no longer a good fit for the neighborhood.

“He just did it for enjoyment, wanted to put it in the water and do some fishing with it,” Pamela Wooldridge, whose father built the ark, said. 

RELATED: ‘I hate to let it go’: Owners putting beloved Colonial Heights Ark up for auction

It’s become a vital part of the city, Wooldridge added. 

“We have a lot of traffic that comes up through here, they sit and get out and take pictures of it,” Wooldridge said. “A lot of them are out of state people that come and take pictures of it and it’s always been that way.”

8News spoke with local residents who expressed concerns saying the landmark has overstayed it’s welcome.

The new property owner also wants it gone.

“He wants to build a home over there and the guy who bought the boat, he hasn’t offered to pay any rent for the boat sitting there, any taxes, anything,” said Wooldridge.

8News reached out to the boat owner who said it would cost thousands of dollars to move the massive ark prompting the delay.

Some local residents and Wooldridge said they hope it sticks around a little while longer.

“I’d like it to stay because my dad he put a lot of hours and hard work into that boat,” Wooldridge said. “And it just brings back a lot of memories.”

8News has reached out to numerous councilors, the mayor and code compliance officers for comment.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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