The Museum and White House of the Confederacy (a private, non-profit organization covered by Federal tax designation code 501[c]3) is increasingly threatened by the encroachment of a massive hospital complex - Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (formerly the Medical College of Virginia). The Main Hospital Building (1982) is a 17-story structure that towers over the entire neighborhood, and sits immediately adjacent to the Museum and White House site with its north wall built within inches of the property line. The pharmacy school's Smith Building (1984) was constructed across 12th Street (directly west of the property), and is 8 stories tall. 12th Street was closed in 1998,when the "Gateway" Building was constructed in the middle of the street bed. This construction lasted four years and permanently cut off the view from the White House to Capitol Square to the South, and also cut one of the three arteries into the Court End neighborhood. The current construction project is the 17-story Critical Care Center that is situated less than 70 feet from the White House Structure. This building, which is situated due east of the Museum and White House property, covers about half of the original property, and occupies the space where the entire complement of dependicies were originally located. The construction project is projected to be completed in 2008. The Richmond Academy of Medicine building, which is situated directly north of the White House, was acquired by VCUHS in the late spring of 2006.
Though important to the general welfare, safety, and local economy in Richmond, VCUHS's previous, current, and planned construction projects have destroyed the physical landscape and viewsheds of the historic Shockoe Hill/Court End neighborhood, with specific detriment to the White House of the Confederacy site. Access to the site is severely decreased and permanently altered. As a result, the Museum's ability to function independently has been damaged. Visitation has steadily declined by approxiametly 40% (from 91,000 to 54,000, annually) since 1991.
Normal wear and tear on the restoration work, from carpets to exterior paint, will require moderate levels of new restoration in the near future. The Museum, being in financial extremis for the previously stated reasons, has a declining financial ability to meet these needs.