Despite all of the recent trouble with the closure of Pump House Road due to a failure of the roadway, progress appears to be on the way to saving the failing roof to the Victorian Gothic treasure, which was designed and constructed in the 1880s under the leadership of the great Richmond city engineer Col. Wilfred Emory Cutshaw. It is located in the Byrd Park District, west of the Boulevard Bridge on the Kanawha Canal.
In the past year, there has been a growing hole in the roof of the 1905 addition to the Pump House. After being reported in spring 2010, the hole has gone from six inches to an estimated six feet now, according to comments from Ralph White at a James River Outdoor Coalition meeting in November.
As of the first week of February, the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities has approved two contracts to repair to the roof of the Pump House near the entry to the second room, according to public relations manager Christy Everson. Each of the contracts is for approximately $5,000 — one is to make repairs to the underlying roof, and the other will cover replacing the shingles.
Everson said the parks department has not received a bid for the
exterior lighting for the outdoor ramp, which is an ADA complaint requirement.
The offseason plan was for the building to be useable in the late spring and summer for small events and possibly to be kept open on weekends for tours. That plan would likely require the installation of toilets (possibly composting toilets) and bottled water to bring the building up to city code.