Jean Patterson Boone, publisher of the Richmond Free Press, talks with Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Chioke I’Anson about the vision and trials in starting the award-winning newspaper 30 years ago during the George Mason Award ceremony Feb. 3 sponsored by the Virginia Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Mrs. Boone and her late husband, Raymond H. Boone, who founded the publication in January 1992, were recognized by the organization with the George Mason Award for their outstanding contributions to the field of journalism. The ceremony, held at the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art and livestreamed virtually, was originally scheduled in 2020 but delayed because of the pandemic. The portrait of the Boones shown on a screen above the stage was taken in April 2014 by Cleveland-based photojournalist Annie O’Neill just months before Mr. Boone’s death in June 2014 of pancreatic cancer. The Free Press also was recognized by Richmond Delegate Jeff Bourne during Monday’s floor session of the Virginia House of Delegates for its 30-year legacy to “inform, educate and empower readers” in the Richmond area.
A group of John Marshall High School football players take advantage of a cold Sunday afternoon the week before Super Bowl LVI to play a game at Hotchkiss Field Community Center in North Side. No final score was provided, but the free game was cheaper entertainment than this weekend’s big event at SoFi Stadium outside Los Angeles.
Armstrong Renaissance is heading to the finish line after more than three years of construc- tion at this East End site near the city’s border with Henrico County. Crews now are focusing on development of the final phase – 36 attached and detached homes to be sold at market rates – that will cap the redevelopment on the former site of Armstrong High School.
Oversized compared with most of the homes on nearby streets, the new houses were initially priced between $225,000 and $350,000 and are designed to add a residential cachet to the area.
When finished, the total 22-acre development will contain 256 modern apartments and houses. The first residents moved in just before Thanksgiving in 2019.
Previously called Church Hill North, Armstrong Renaissance is the creation of a partnership of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Boston-based nonprofit affordable housing developer, The Community Builders. The project is designed as the first step in the future redevelopment of the 30-acre Creighton Court public housing community located across Nine Mile Road.
The new units were used, in part, to relocate Creighton Court residents, clearing the way for a large chunk of the public housing community to be bulldozed and replaced with new units. Demolition of a major portion of Creighton Court is expected this year.
Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Richmond City Council cleared the way by allocating $6.8 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for new streets, alleys and underground utilities in the Creighton Court redevelopment.
Reflections on the James River