Richmond, Virginia’s historic Byrd Park Pump House, a landmark structure and engineering masterpiece, has sat vacant and largely unused for over seven decades. Long admired for its beauty and picturesque setting along the James River, a promising community-led effort has been made to renovate the building and transform the underutilized park into a thriving public facility and event venue and a singular destination in Richmond.
The design for a renovated Pump House Park marries a distinct sense of place with the intervention needed to ensure greater public access to the grounds and building. Dedicated on-street parking, accessible routes throughout the park, activation of the canals surrounding the building, and improved recreational access will enable a diverse population of visitors the opportunity to experience this hidden gem. Given the site’s environmentally sensitive location, the project must balance significant improvements with requirements for managing stormwater, minimizing impervious surface cover, and preserving and conserving cultural, historical, and ecological resources on site. The City of Richmond and several stakeholder groups came together to develop goals for the project. To meet these goals, our landscape architecture team collaborated closely with 3north, a Richmond-based firm, to create a master plan for the building and grounds that reflects a holistic vision for the future of the park.