First Freedom Center

First Freedom Center was founded in 1984 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, adopted in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly. The Virginia General Assembly was then working from temporary quarters in a warehouse near the corner of 14th and Cary streets in an area of downtown Richmond known as Shockoe Slip. This document served as the template for the first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As a result of this legislation, religious freedom moved from being an abstract philosophical ideal to a legally protected human right. Although we continue to enjoy religious freedom, the structure at 14th and Cary streets where this landmark event occurred no longer exists and now serves as a parking lot.

Collaborating with local design firm Riggs Ward, the center developed an exhibit titled “Faces of Religious Freedom,” now in place at 14th and Main, as well as a corresponding virtual exhibit. Visitors to both the physical and virtual exhibits will gain a deeper understanding of the center’s mission and the significance of religious freedom in America and around the world.

The mural installation is on the northwest corner of 14th and Cary streets. First Freedom Center is located at 1321 E. Main St.


The Valentine First Freedom Center, located on the corner of South 14th & Cary Streets, Richmond, VA 23219, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 12-5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Launch official website