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Block in downtown Charlottesville cleared of Jackson statue to be probed for historical artifacts

(Daily Progress) – Long before the demolition of Vinegar Hill, the McKee Block was destroyed in what’s been called one of Charlottesville’s first instances of “urban renewal” — with all the baggage of racism, displacement and gentrification that term carries. But now the site of that stretch of structures, cleared more than a century ago for a statue of a Confederate general, will be probed for historical clues thanks to a grant obtained by the city of Charlottesville’s preservation planner.

“There are stories in this ground, and rendering them visible will be of value,” that planner, Jeff Werner, told The Daily Progress.

The site is the western side of Court Square Park, an extension of the original Court Square, in the center of Charlottesville. Until recently, the plot was called Jackson Park for its equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson, which the city removed in the wake of the deadly…

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