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Public Meeting to Kick Off Historic Survey of Richmond's Oldest Neighborhoods

September 15, 2008




Lina Velasco

Senior Planner

City of Richmond Planning Division

(510) 620-6841






Richmond– September 15, 2008


The City of Richmond will be hosting the first of a series of public meetings at the [Nevin Community Center on Thursday, September 25th at 7:00 pm] to share plans for Project PRISM (Preserve Richmond to Interpret and Support Memories), a survey of historic buildings in three of Richmond’s oldest areas: the Iron Triangle, Santa Fe and Coronado neighborhoods.

The survey encompasses approximately 2,000 buildings and will be conducted by professional historians, working with community, City, and National Park Service representatives, walking the neighborhoods taking photographs and notes. This information will be accompanied by a report, known as a historic context statement, which will provide a detailed history of the area. The City intends to use the information to help guide planning efforts by identifying important historic buildings and potential historic districts. Importantly, the survey will also seek input from current and former residents of Richmond by asking them to share their personal memories, old photos and other information related to the neighborhoods.

“Project PRISM is a landmark effort for Richmond,” says Rosemary Corbin, Chair of the Richmond Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. “By having local residents participate in the process we’ll be able to identify historic themes that truly reflect the community. It will also improve our understanding of the important relationship between these neighborhoods and the Rosie the Riveter/ World War II Home Front National Historical Park.” 

The survey will be supported in part by a National Park Service Preserve America grant.  Martha Lee, Superintendant of the Rosie the Riveter/ World War II Home Front National Historical Park, says that Richmond’s history is an important national story. “The people who lived and worked in these neighborhoods were part of one of the greatest Home Front efforts in the history of the United States” she says. “This survey will help us share that story with Richmond’s residents, their children and with park visitors from across the country.”

Other sponsors of Project PRISM include the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency, the Richmond Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, Richmond Main Street, Inc., Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Coronado, Iron Triangle and Santa Fe Neighborhood Councils.

Scheduled for the first community meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council’s monthly meeting, the consultant team of Page &  Turnbull and cultural historian Donna Graves will help describe the survey process, as well as ask community members to share old photos or other documents relating to Richmond’s history so that they can be scanned and preserved. Page & Turnbull’s team of historians and preservation architects will also solicit volunteers to be part of oral history focus groups, designed to help document personal stories that are important to the community.

The Nevin Community Center is located at 598 Nevin Avenue in Richmond.   Persons needing special accommodations or more information should call the Planning Division at (510) 620-6706