The metalwork of Richmond reveals a profound history of the city in its most triumphant and its darkest times. First popularized in the 1800s, cast- and wrought-iron fixtures became a staple of Richmond’s architecture around the time of the Civil War. In addition to becoming one of the south’s prominent manufacturers of iron, Richmond also became a major railroad center during the Industrial Revolution, as detailed in Robert Winthrop’s 1980 book, “Cast and Wrought: The Architectural Metalwork of Richmond, Virginia.” Richmond’s iron industry grew tremendously, becoming Virginia’s third major industry behind tobacco and flour, principally due to the industrial slavery of black skilled laborers. The hard work of these often uncredited laborers contributed significantly to the construction of Richmond, Winthrop wrote. This era led to the creation of some of the country’s most exquisite examples of metalwork, including Second Presbyterian Church on N. Fifth Street and the Woman’s Club at The Bolling Haxall House on East Franklin Street. “The diversity and amount of cast iron here rivals anything in the rest of the nation.” —Walter Dotts Once steel was introduced, the popularity of ir...