In a surprising move, Virginia Commonwealth University administration announced that its real estate foundation has signed an agreement to purchase the Hollywood Cemetery Company and all of its holdings. Hollywood Cemetery has been an operating since 1849 and covers roughly 145 acres. If this breaking news proves true, this new addition would put an exclamation […]
In a surprising move, Virginia Commonwealth University administration announced that its real estate foundation has signed an agreement to purchase the Hollywood Cemetery Company and all of its holdings. Hollywood Cemetery has been an operating since 1849 and covers roughly 145 acres. If this breaking news proves true, this new addition would put an exclamation point on what has been an incredible expansionary period for the university under its outgoing President, Eugene Trani. At press time, neither Hollywood Cemetery officials or VCU President’s Office was willing to answer too many questions about the startling development, although VCU did release a short statement saying that it was the culmination of a long term campaign “to give VCU a riverfront campus without impeding upon any ‘living’ neighborhoods or pre-existing agreements and create a world-class atmosphere for our university”. A purchase figure was not given.
Although VCU officials were less than forthcoming with plans for the acquisition, immediate speculation was that VCU would increase its residential presence with high rise dormitories while using at least some of the riverfront acreage for a football stadium. One VCU athletic official let slip that there was hope that some of the larger crypts could be ‘repurposed’ for squash courts.
When asked about the historical assets of Hollywood Cemetery, including the graves of Presidents Monroe and Tyler, a spokesperson shared that VCU had contracted with an outside firm to appropriately commemorate and memorialize the rich history of the gothic landmark. In addition, some local preservationists believe that VCU may try to move the Confederate White House from the MCV campus to a new historic museum portion of the Hollywood Cemetery location. A Virginia Department of Historic Resources employee, who refused to be identified, only remarked, “Well, Trani is still a very powerful man.”
Although many had still not heard the news, the VCU students who had were already excited about the expansion of facilities. “Hopefully, we are going to get some free parking”, said one. Another said that this move will bring more safety to a relatively unpopulated part of the City. A student government leader said that he had already been contacted by a campus environmental group that wanted to make sure some of the older growth trees in the cemetery were incorporated into any planning.
Please keep reading oregonhill.net as more details on this major development become available.