We're eyewitness to this news: Our building, One Capitol Square, a 24-floor behemoth that's had an interesting history on the corner of Richmond's Main and 9th Streets, straddling the financial and political districts, that once featured a really cool outdoor escalator that ferried visitors straight into the building's second floor, is on fire right now! At least, the Richmond Fire Department tells us there's smoke in the basement. So we all hoofed it down the 12 floors and got out safely. Our Annual Board Meeting had ended a little while previous, so they were gone. There were two or three fire engines on the scene and even traffic was rerouted south on north-bound-only 9th Street. A fireman was unleashing a fire hydrant as I finally decided to leave the street-side gawkers. (Your Admin skillfully finished editing something, hit "print" faster than Matt Dillon gunned down the bad guys on Gunsmoke, shut down the laptop and got out so as not to be held hostage. Now, I am safely deployed at a secret, secure location.) Meanwhile, the Family Foundataion staff and the building's other tenants are taking an unexpected break, providing street vendors a Christmas bonus of potential coffee customers.
Within the year, the building passed into another chapter of its history, as it was bought by VCU, the state eating up yet more commercial property in the city. The state. The ever-expanding state. VCU uses only some floors now, and constantly brings in contractors for remodeling other floors. It has told tenants they will take over the entire building in time. So today's evacuation has a provocative metaphorical meaning. We hope to have pictures later today or tomorrow.