University of Richmond Race & Racism Project

Letter from Edmond H. Brill to George M. Modlin

Dublin Core


Letter from Edmond H. Brill to George M. Modlin


In this 1951 letter from Edmond H. Brill, Jr. to Dr. George M. Modlin, Brill attaches a script for Modlin to read on Radio Station WRNL. At this time, Modlin served as the President of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce; the speech explains that the Chamber is concerned about the traffic problems in Richmond. They believe that constructing a freeway would solve this problem and the speech outlines three reasons why the Chamber supports the freeway: it will be effective, convenient, and safe for people; it has been endorsed by every traffic authority; and it will be "soundly financed." Towards the end of the speech, Brill writes, "It is most unfortunate that a Freeway cannot be located and constructed anywhere without affecting the interests of some individuals, business firms, and institutions." However, it does not go into detail about who these people are and the negative impact the freeway may have on these groups. The Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (now part of I-95) would eventually be run through Jackson Ward, a historic black neighborhood in Richmond, which was also the center of economic vitality for black Richmonders. The freeway, combined with white-flight, caused a decline for the neighborhood and its residents.


Letter from Edmund H. Brill, Jr. to George M. Modlin, 1 November 1951, RG Box 11 (Richmond Chamber of Commerce, President George M. Modlin), University Archives, Virginia Baptist Historical Society.




Modlin, George Matthews, 1903-1998







Richmond (Va.)

Text Item Type Metadata

Student Contributor



Brill, Edmond H., “Letter from Edmond H. Brill to George M. Modlin,” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed March 31, 2023,