In the little community where I live, we haven’t saved many of our old historic buildings. Some of that loss is due to turn-of-the-century fires that destroyed many of the structures in the old downtown.
A while back, we had a chance to
rescue an important aged building that over the years has served a huge number
of people in our little town.
But we didn’t.
Those involved said
it would be far too expensive to renovate this big old brick building that in
recent years has housed a medical center. They simply did not have the funds to
fix it up.
This building once served as a community center
for our town. Clubs met there. Dinners and luncheons were served. Children took
dancing classes. Before the days of kindergarten in the public schools, a
private kindergarten was taught there. Later, when there were public school
kindergartens, the community center class became a nursery school. And there was
a teen club with Friday evening dances. Perhaps most memorable of all, art
classes were taught on the upper floor in a flood of light beneath the
Lots of memories for lots of people.
equipment wiped those memories away. Now a grassy lawn has replaced them.
Ours in a truly
historic town. Soon after the settling of the first permanent English colony at
Jamestown, Captain John Smith explored our rivers—we sit on three—and our
creeks. The Indian tribes were here long before that and two reservations--the
Mattaponi and the Pamunkey--remain nearby.
In other places we dig ruins from the jungle. Maybe these memories are not old enough.
Does your community save its historic buildings?
My series of 12 large Maya Ruins paintings are on view through July 10 at Crossroads Art Center, 2016 Staples Mill Road in Richmond. The public is invited to an opening reception, Friday, May 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include a book signing for my adventure novel, Jungle Jeopardy. Inspired by my travels to the Maya Ruins and by Indiana Jones-type perils, this book finds a perfect setting among my paintings located in Gallery One at the Art Center.
Thursday, May 17, my art show and book signing will be featured in a segment on Virginia This Morning, CBS Channel 6 Richmond, between 9 and 10 a.m.
Mary Montague Sikes