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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Early Industrial Patterns

 
 
Early Industrial Patterns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
1. Early Industrial Patterns Marker
Inscription. The Pattern Building’s origins reflect the uses of the Valentine Riverside site by several industries that were key to America’s, and Richmond’s industrial development. The building’s stone and brick foundations are from a water-powered flour mill built by Lewis D. Crenshaw, later used a woolen mill. Crenshaw’s operation also included a warehouse-grain elevator on the canal. After Crenshaw’s mill burned in 1863, Tredegar Iron Works rebuilt the mill in its present form for making and storage of foundry patterns. Another fire, around 1890, destroyed the upper floor, which was rebuilt.

Crenshaw flour and woolen mill, c. 1854-63
Crenshaw’s flour mill, converted to woolen production in 1860, was 5 stories with stepped end gables. Its stone foundations can still be seen.

Tredegar pattern shop and storage, c. 1867-1890’s
Tredegar rebuilt a three story pattern shop over the stone foundations of Crenshaw’s mill. The new building’s large foundation required an arch to support the northeast corner, bridging an earlier raceway.

Wooden patterns were used to make architectural columns for iron front buildings in Richmond, including this building in Shockoe Slip, constructed in 1878.

Tredegar Pattern Building, 1890’s to present
The building continued to be used to store
The Pattern Building now serves as the NPS Visitor Center. image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
2. The Pattern Building now serves as the NPS Visitor Center.
patterns until Tredegar’s operations ended in 1957. The red brick of the upper floor and a change in the window form indicate the 1890 rebuilding.

Patterns used in an iron works are three dimensional wooden models that are pressed into specially bonded casting sand called green sand. The pattern is removed and molten iron is poured into the impression, casting a perfect replica of the pattern.
 
Location. 37° 32.12′ N, 77° 26.758′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Tredegar Street 0.1 miles west of South 5th Street. Click for map. This marker is located outside the Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Marker is at or near this postal address: 470 Tredegar Street, Richmond VA 23219, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adapting Power (here, next to this marker); Francis Turbine (here, next to this marker); Historic Tredegar (a few steps from this marker); The Bulldozer Press (a few steps from this marker); Toledo 1000-ton Press (within shouting distance of this marker); Tredegar in 1951 (within shouting distance of this marker); Overshot Waterwheel (within shouting distance of this marker); Raceways (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
 
More about this marker.
Tredegar Pattern Building image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
3. Tredegar Pattern Building
The red brick of the upper floor indicates the rebuilding after a fire in 1890.
"Valentine Riverside site" refers to a short lived occupancy by the Valentine Museum (Richmond History Center) in the mid-90s. In 2000, the National Park Service Visitor Center moved to Tredegar from Chimborazo.
 
Also see . . .
1. Civil War Visitor Center at Tredegar Iron Works. Richmond National Battlefield Park (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. (Submitted on November 6, 2009, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Carpenter Shop image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
4. Carpenter Shop
The Tredegar Company used this brick structure, with a roof supported by riveted iron trusses, as a pattern and general carpentry shop. It is possible that some pattern-making operations from the nearby Pattern Building were moved into this shop. The remains of a motor-driven belt survive on an elevated wood platform.
The Carpenter Shop image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
5. The Carpenter Shop
Tredegar Pattern Building image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, November 3, 2009
6. Tredegar Pattern Building
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 767 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.   6. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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