Vinegar Hill demolition depicted
A new booklet published by the Piedmont Housing Alliance shows in dramatic sepia tones what was lost when Charlottesville embarked on what was then dubbed "slum clearance" and "urban renewal." During the mid 1960s, the City erased 29 businesses, 154 dwellings, and one church and built a four-lane road called Ridge-McIntire through the middle of the predominantly black Vinegar Hill neighborhood. It wasn't until the 1985 construction of what became the Omni hotel that the 21-acre site was fully redeveloped.
In a footnote to history, Westhaven, the public housing complex built to house some of the 500 African-Americans displaced by the demolition (all 49 displaced whites found private housing), now faces the possibility of its own demolition.