Charlottesville Breaking News

Pre-Belk flashback: C.H. Williams estate hits auction block

An upcoming estate auction recalls one of the long-gone department stores where Charlottesvillians shopped for most of the 20th century. Slated for May 21, the sale features art and antiques from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Williams, whose namesake store operated from 1935 to 1981 on East Main Street.

"In the first two thirds of the 20th century, if you thought about about going to a department store in Charlottesville, you went to C. H. Williams," says longtime city resident Rey Berry, who notes that the store preceded such other mid-century notables as Leggett, now operating as Belk, and the now-defunct Miller & Rhoads.

Mr. Williams, a native of Greene County, was sent to Charlottesville in 1935 to manage the Pugh Company store at 212 East Main Street. A few months later, he bought the store.

For over 40 years, C.H. Williams Co. was a Charlottesville destination for fine clothing and household goods. An advertisement from a 1944 edition of the Daily Progress touts 36-inch cotton lace for $1.39 a yard and pure linen selling for $2.19. According to another newspaper clipping on file with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, the company employed 60 people in 1963 with an annual payroll of $175,000.

In 1981, however, after the death of the Williams' son, Harvey, who served as president, the business closed, and the building was sold. The structure became a Smith's of Bermuda shop in 198...

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Shovel ready: County colossus Stonefield set to rise

Last week, local officials and developers lined up behind a row of golden shovels to break ground on a tract of land at the corner of Route 29 and Hydraulic Road, from which will spring a 65-acre village-style development three times the size of the Downtown Mall.

It's been a long time coming.

First rezoned in 2001 and finally approved in 2003, The Shops at Stonefield– previously known as Albemarle Place– will have 1.2 million square feet of building space, including a 135-room luxury hotel, a 14-screen IMAX theater complex, and 245 residences in the first phase of construction. In addition to a greatly anticipated Trader Joe's, the developers revealed that restaurants Osaka Sushi and Travinia Italian Kitchen have also signed on for a predicted November 1, 2012 grand opening of the "town center" portion of the project– with various apartments and townhouses slated for completion in 2013.

So why the name change? Why The Shops at Stonefield?

"It's a name that has an organic connotation," says Robbie Robertson, the developer's communications director, "a name that's reflective of the natural elements of the area, such as the local stone and wood that will be used."

Robertson also says they wanted to re-brand the development as they "take it in a new direction." Robertson concedes it could be a c...

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Around the corner: WorldStrides set to occupy Waterhouse

The cornerstone at Waterhouse– the scaled-down $20 million mixed-use complex of offices, retail space, and apartments atop a parking garage that will span a gap between West Water and South Streets–  was revealed May 13, as was a big sign announcing that WorldStrides will be the building's major tenant. "This couldn't have happened in any other City," said Waterhouse architect Bill Atwood.

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Supe's surprise: Supervisor Ken Boyd seeks 3rd term

When Albemarle Supervisor Ken Boyd made an unsuccessful run for the 5th Congressional District Republican nomination in 2010, he said he would not be seeking another term on the Board of Supervisors. But at a hastily called May 12 press conference, the incumbent representing the Rivanna District– despite mentioning the "toll on you and your family" from 12 years of public service–  threw his hat back in the ring.

"My wife allowed me to," said Boyd.

Boyd is the last of the three term-expiring supervisors to announce plans. Scottsville Supervisor Lindsay Dorrier will not seek a fourth term, but White Hall supe and board chair Ann Mallek will run again.

"This year, I've been honored and humbled by the  number of people that have asked me to run again," said Boyd, who typically votes with the more ostensibly conservative board block that includes Samuel Miller's Duane Snow, the Rio District's Rodney Thomas, and Dorrier. So far, no one has announced a run for Dorrier's seat.

Boyd, who formerly served on the School Board, cites accomplishments such as "a world class educational system," the near completion–- at least the county's portion–- of the Meadow Creek Parkway, the start of the Hillsdale Connector, the higher than average...

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The week in review

Most wanted: Taybronne A. White is arrested May 8 in connection with a triple homicide after the bodies of Lisa Hwang, 26, Brian Lee Daniels, 26, and Dustin Tyler Knighton, 25, were discovered early May 3 on Octavia Road in Greene County. However, the charges, at presstime, stem only from warrants following an allegedly related home invasion that occurred about 40 minutes before discovery of the bodies.


Worst week for UVA Law School: Two students' dubious achievements are noted in local media. On May 5, Johnathan Perkins admits he fabricated a story about being racially harassed by UVA police. On May 6, Daniel Paul Watkins– who once reported that he was the victim of a racial incident– is arrested for assault and stalking stemming from an alleged February 13 incident.


Worst way to try to spark a romance: Felicia Armstrong, 51, of Mineral, pleads guilty to setting multiple fires at St. John Baptist Church in January after she's rebuffed by a firefighter who attends that church, the Newsplex reports. Armstrong faces up to 30 years in prison at her July 18 sentencing.


Worst low-speed accident: A fiv...

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