Slave Auction Block
The City had a lengthy community dialogue in 2017 about the slave auction block. The discussion led the City to seek broad input through community meetings and an online survey. With that input in mind, City Council voted on September 26, 2017, to preserve the slave auction block in place and to focus on better telling a more complete history of Fredericksburg. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (ICSC) was hired to assist in turning "dialogue into action." Members of ICSC will work with the community 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.
In April 2018, two ICSC staff members began work by meeting with community members to listen and gain an understanding of what "story" the City has told in the past, is currently telling in the present, and wishes to tell in the future about the auction block and the context that surrounds it. The Coalition will be back May 24 and 25 to further engage high school students and other community leaders in dialogue. Please contact City Manager Tim Baroody at email Tim Baroody to participate in discussions during those days. As Phase 1 wraps up, we will notify the community of dates for engagement of Phase II conversations in early summer. Thanks to all who have participated to date. We plan future opportunities for engagement.
Riverfront Park Project
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.