St. John's Church Historic District
St.John's Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia
|Location||Bounded roughly by 22nd, Marshall, 32nd, Main, and Franklin Sts. and Williamsburg Ave., Richmond, Virginia|
|Area||100 acres (40 ha)|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival, Federal|
|NRHP Reference #|| (increase)|
|Added to NRHP||September 15, 1970|
|Boundary increase||January 17, 1991|
|Designated VLR||June 2, 1970; April 17, 1990|
Church Hill, also known as the St. John's Church Historic District, is an Old and Historic District in Richmond, Virginia. This district encompasses the original land plat of the city of Richmond. Church Hill is the eastern terminus of Broad Street, a major east-west thoroughfare in the Richmond metropolitan area. The name Church Hill is often used to describe both the specific historic district and the larger general area in the East End encompassing other neighborhoods such as Union Hill, Chimborazo, Fairmount, Peter Paul, Woodville, etc.
Church Hill is known as the site of Virginia's second revolutionary convention, where Patrick Henry gave his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in St. John's Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia. It is also known for Chimborazo Park, where the largest American Civil War Hospital was located.
On Friday, October 2, 1925, a 4,000-foot Chesapeake and Ohio railroad single track tunnel built during Reconstruction collapsed under Church Hill. The Church Hill Tunnel collapse occurred during refurbishment works, killing 3 or 4 and engulfing a work train complete with a 4-4-0 engine #231 and 10 flat cars. The tunnel was closed and filled-in after the collapse. In the July 2006, a coalition of officials and historical groups made plans to remove the buried engine. If recovered, it would be displayed at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. Some borings were made into the tunnel from above for examination by camera. Only murky water was found, whereupon further work was delayed by city permitting issues. The bricked-in entrance of the collapsed tunnel can still be seen at the south-east end of the alley just north of Marshall Street, on 18th Street.
In January 2011, Church Hill was ranked as the 10th most dangerous neighborhood in the U.S. by Daily Finance website. Residents and city officials disputed the story, noting that statistics from the same time period demonstrate a relatively low incidence of crime (compared to other parts of the City of Richmond and the state of Virginia), with crime concentrated in very few sectors. NBC noted that violent crime had dropped 21%.
The Church Hill neighborhood experienced serious physical decline during the 1950s, owing mostly to absentee landlords. The Historic Richmond Foundation was established in 1956 by Elisabeth Scott Bocock out of concern for "saving and enhancing the setting for St. John's Church." In 1957, encouraged in large part by Historic Richmond, City Council created a historic district ordinance while simultaneously adopting the St. John's Church Old and Historic District. The preservation of Church Hill marked the formal beginning of the preservation movement in Richmond.
Notable Structures, Monuments and Parks
- St. John's Episcopal Church (Richmond, Virginia)
- Adams Double House
- Chimborazo Park
- Elmira Shelton House
- Jefferson Park
- Libby Hill Park
- Pohlig Brothers Building
- Richmond Hill (a/k/a the Adams-Taylor House or Monte Maria)
- Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument
- St. John's Mews
- Superior Warehouse
- Woodward House
- WRVA Building
- Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in the Country". dailyfinance.com. July 11, 2011. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
- Reactions from the Church Hill People's News on this story
-  "Violent crime down by 21% in Church Hill"], NBC12, 9 April 2012
- Church Hill, Richmond, VA Crime Rates & Statistics, current crime statistics for Church Hill from areavibes.com 
- Zehmer, Jack. Church Hill: The St. John's Historic District, 1991. (p. 11)
- Katie Kelley, Historic Richmond Foundation Architectural Historian
- A Visitor's Guide to Church Hill
- Church Hill People's News
- Church Hill Association
- Historicrichmond.com info about Church Hill
- St. John's Episcopal Church
- Richmond City Watch: Church Hill
- Richmond, Virginia, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
- Church Hill Oral History Collection at Virginia Union University's L. Douglas Wilder Library and Learning Resource Center
||Shockoe Valley||Union Hill|
|Tobacco Row||Libby Hill|