This home at 508 St. James St. in Historic Jackson Ward formerly served as the Richmond Workshop for the Blind, which was established in 1948 as the first African-American workshop and training center for the blind and visually-impaired in Richmond. Built in 1915 for Dr. William Hughes Jr., a prominent Black surgeon, the home was designed by Charles T. Russell, one of the first Black architects licensed in Virginia.
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Shirley Hawkins’ book details Jackson Ward home that served as training center for blind and visually-impaired workers
When Shirley Hawkins met preservationist Zarina Fazaldin in 2016, it was to share what she remembered about her former workplace, the Richmond Workshop for the Blind, once located inside 508 St. James St. in Historic Jackson Ward. Writing a book about it was the last thing on Mrs. Hawkins’ mind.