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Inside Richmond’s Blues Armory As The City Eyes Redevelopment

Richmond's Blues Armory, which sits at the corner of 6th Street and East Marshall Street, closed to the public in 2002. (Roberto Roldan/VPM)
Richmond's Blues Armory, which sits at the corner of 6th Street and East Marshall Street, closed to the public in 2002. (Roberto Roldan/VPM)

City of Richmond officials opened the doors of the Blues Armory to the media Wednesday afternoon. The historic landmark on Marshall Street may be redeveloped as part of the Coliseum project. 

The historic Blues Armory housed office space and a first floor food court before it closed in 2002. It’s connected to the now defunct 6th Street Marketplace through a large glass lobby. The Coliseum developers, NH District Corp., want to reopen 6th Street to cars and pedestrians, and put a ballroom and lounge on the upper floors of the Armory.

Michael Hallmark, the lead architect for NH District Corp., said they want to maintain the historic character of the building.

"We think this is the most exciting piece of the development and the thing we hold the most respect for," he said. "We will preserve all of the brickwork and all of the windows that have been taken out...It's an embarrassment. Richmond deserves for this building to not be in this situation."

The armory would connect to a new hotel along Clay Street that’s also part of the coliseum redevelopment project. Hallmark says just preparing the building for renovation is expected to cost around $10 million.

City Council is currently reviewing the project and the public financing of a new arena.

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