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City Council Approves Confederate Ave Renaming

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FILE PHOTO: Crixell Matthews/VPM

Confederate Avenue in Richmond’s Northside will soon have a new name. 

Richmond City Council voted unanimously Monday night to rename the street to Laburnum Park Boulevard. The name comes from the small neighborhood where the street sits, between Brook and Hermitage Roads. The ordinance was sponsored by Council Members Kim Gray and Chris Hilbert. 

Gray told VPM last month that the residents living along Confederate Avenue should get the credit for pushing the city toward renaming. 

“This is a longstanding effort on the part of residents along Confederate Avenue and adjacent areas to ensure that the street names are reflective of the diverse communities within the area,” she said. “We’ve been walking through the process, it’s a long time coming and we support their efforts.”

Confederate Avenue is a four-block residential street in Northside. Its most famous current residents are U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and his wife Anne Holton, the former Virginia Secretary of Education. 

Residents kick-started the process in March 2019, working with city officials to establish a renaming committee. In June 2020, everyone living on Confederate Avenue was  given a survey to vote on the name change, with 85 percent of respondents in support. Through another survey, the residents also landed on supporting Laburnum Park Boulevard out of a list of 33 potential names.

Jill Dimitri, a homeowner on Confederate Avenue, told Richmond City Council last month that after the city’s Confederate statues were removed this summer, now seemed like the right time to finally push the renaming through.

“I feel like Richmond is certainly at a crossroads right now and the neighborhood is united in this interest to change the name of the street,” she said.

Richmond is also expected to rename the stretch of Jefferson Davis Highway, although there is currently no timeline for when that will be up for a vote.

 

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