Let's move the White House! (No, the other one ...)
One of my favorite stories about my father-in-law involves the time that my husband and I, fairly new to Richmond at the time, took his parents around town doing some of the more touristy things. Among other things, we went to the Museum of the Confederacy. The letters from Confederate soldiers back home were terribly moving, the battle accounts riveting, the artifacts fascinating. When we came out of the museum I turned and asked my father-in-law what he thought. "It was very interesting," he said. "I'm not sure who won."
Regardless of your perspective on the Civil War, er ... War Between the States er ... War of Northern Aggression, the Museum and White House of the Confederacy offer fascinating insights into that period of our history. But in recent years, Civil War buffs and their lucrative tourist dollars have found it more difficult to get to the White House and museum because it's been systematically swallowed up by the growth of VCU/MCV.
A visitor to the museum in May posted a nice review on tripadvisor.com but also had this to say: "This is a very out-of-the-way museum, especially hard to find when every sidewalk around the [Capitol] area is closed for renovations."
The museum is suffering financially and now the executive director of the museum is saying enough is enough. It's time to move. He's suggesting a state-owned site behind the Science Museum, but because the White House is a historic landmark, a move has to jump the hurdles of the city's Commission of Architectural Review. The mayor and City Council have yet to weigh in on this. (Lord only knows what Mayor Wilder's reaction will be to this one ...)
To me it seems like a no-brainer. We've got the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar set to open its first exhibits next year and Civil War history dripping from every corner of the region. Every Civil War buff in the country should be coming to this little Mecca and bringing some money for a hotel room along with them. Let's make it a little easier for them to see where Jefferson Davis put his boots, huh?