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West Hospital is part of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical Center campus in downtown Richmond. Noted for its art deco architecture, the building was commissioned by the Public Works Administration as one of the large-scale public works projects of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. The building was dedicated in 1940. One of the most striking features of the building can be found above the main pedestrian entrance. Here above the door is this amazing metal grill. The grill depicts some of the major milestones in medical history.
The building is slated for demolition as part of the VCU 2020 plan. Richmond has a thriving historic preservation movement and one of its major organizations, the Alliance to Conserve Old Richmond Neighborhoods (ACORN), is trying to stop the demolition. Richmond has some beautiful buildings which deserve to be preserved such as the famous Tredegar Iron Works and the lesser known Centenary United Methodist Church. I’m not sure whether the West Hospital fits into this category, but what I am sure of is, that no matter what happens in the future, this fantastic metal grill needs to be preserved.