A contractor expects to finish rebuilding a pre-Civil War era brick wall this week, which was mysteriously knocked down two years ago on city property.
The wall, near the parking lot for Belle Isle, originally separated Tredegar Iron Works from the adjacent canal.
After watchdogs in Oregon Hill discovered the demolition, J.E. Liesfeld Contractor Inc. acknowledged it accidentally knocked down a portion of the wall when it was taking down a section on private property, which was donated a week earlier to Venture Richmond.
The downtown booster group and New Market Corp., which donated the property, denied ordering the demolition of the wall.
Venture Richmond Executive Director Jack Berry says he thinks the rebuilt structure enhances the appearance of the amphitheater his group built last year on the property to accommodate the main stage of the annual Richmond Folk Festival.
“The new brick wall is attractive and adds a nice touch to Tredegar Green,” he says in a statement, “framing the western edge of the natural amphitheater.”
Through a lawyer, Liesfeld refuses to say who hired it to do the work. The company didn’t return a call seeking comment this week.
Masons hired by Liesfeld are rebuilding the structure using a mix of original and new handmade bricks.
City spokeswoman Tammy Hawley says Liesfeld is putting the wall back up at its expense. The building permit for the project lists the cost of the work as $20,104.
Charles Pool, a neighborhood advocate who first discovered the wall’s demolition, says he’s pleased with the care being put into its reconstruction.
But Pool says he’s “still miffed that the Richmond Police Department did not even allow me to file a police report after I witnessed the illegal destruction of the wall on city property.”