Auction Block Preservation and Interpretation
The City had a lengthy community dialogue in 2017 about the slave auction block. The discussion led the City to seek broad input through numerous community meetings and an online survey. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC) was hired to assist in turning "dialogue into action." Members of ICSC worked with the community throughout 2018 in three phases of work 1) an audit of how we tell our story today 2) build consensus on how the auction block is to be portrayed moving forward 3) determine how to tell our more complete story moving forward.
On June 11, 2019, the City of Fredericksburg Council voted 6-1 in favor of moving the slave auction block from its current location at the corner of William and Charles Streets to the Fredericksburg Area Museum. This decision by Council followed the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience Final Report. This report, the final of three phases of community engagement work in the City was received by Council in March 2019. This report and other information on the auction block can be found on this page.
The City has initiated efforts to design and construct the new Riverfront Park, which will be a significant new public space in downtown Fredericksburg. In 2011, the City acquired the former Masonic Lodge riverfront property at 609 Sophia Street. This acquisition increased the amount of contiguous City-owned land along the riverfront and creates new opportunities for a beautiful outdoor amenity and attraction along the banks of the Rappahannock River. The City established a Riverfront Task Force to guide the design process from an initial park vision to preliminary design options to final concept design.