Eggleston family reflects on hotel collapse

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - It's been written that the Eggleston Hotel was the place where economics, entertainment, and food came together in Richmond.

No one alive is more aware of that than Neverett Eggleston Junior, son of the man who first opened the hotel seven decades ago.

"It means a whole bunch to me," Eggleston said. "It means a lot to a lot of other people."

Could it really be so long, since the beginning?

The year was 1937.

The hotel Eggleston was built at 2nd and Leigh streets.

Seemingly overnight, it became the place for African American sports figures, politicians, and entertainers who had almost nowhere else to go, in the age of segregation.

"Everybody that came to Richmond, every minority, black, African American either ate here or stayed in this building," said Eggleston.

Eggleston remembers the 1950's when his dad was so happy to see the hotel remodeled.

But the ensuing decades would see the hotel go vacant, then fall into major disrepair, and then  fall down.

"Kinda sad," he said. "I lived and been here in these two blocks here since the late 30's. I grew up in that building, I learned to work in that building, and most important, I learned to value of people out here in Jackson Ward in that building."

The family's already started talking about what it would take to rebuild the hotel on the same site.

One plan would be to keep the old look on the outside, with a modern interior.

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