16 January 2012
Last Thursday was a beautiful day weather-wise, and luckily it was also the day we picked to wander around Richmond (enjoying both being off work on a random weekday). Tucked away in Byrd Park, the beau stopped the car amidst construction vehicles at the entrance to the Byrd Park Pump House and we tromped through the mud to explore the outside of the building, the canal, and surrounding pathways. The area is well interpreted by wayside signage that details the history of the building, the use of the canal, and quarrying efforts in the vicinity.
The pump house itself, a glorious example of Gothic Revival architecture, is currently undergoing restoration, but they've uncovered the open-arched upper level on one side of the structure to illustrate how the building looked when the second floor hosted a dance hall in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. It must have been amazing to float along the canal in your party dress and dance the night away overlooking the woods and water. How I wish they would hurry up and complete the restoration so the tradition can start up again.