A New Home

June 19, 1897


The new headquarters for the Planet at 311 North Fourth Street, is portrayed through colorful language and description.


We present the readers with a “cut” of the present Planet Building, 311 North Fourth Street, between Broad and Marshall Sts.
The structure was originally a white boarding house, but it has been so completely remodeled that no one would recognize in the palatial looking building the house of other days.
The porch was taken down and a hood placed over the door, under which is the handsome brass lamp, on which is painted “The Planet.”
The steps of the porch curve outward to the street. The flooring is two inches thick and the banisters are extra-large, adding to the symmetrical appearance of the same.
The side-walk is granolithic. Iron letters, “The Planet,” were cast and inlaid before the pavement had hardened. A stepping stone was placed near the curb and a ring to which a horse can be tied was also sunk in the pavement. The guide stone on the right was presented by Mr. J.S. Gardner, stone-mason, yards, 21 and 23 west Leigh St.
The two tree boxes are painted white with appropriate trimming.
The front of the brick building is painted white, with light brown trimmings. On the cornice rests the large sign, which is over eight feet in the centre. It is thirty feet long. On it may be seen the black arm with the electric flashes. Midway of the building rests the other sign on which are the words, “Fine, Artistic Printing.” The arm rests on a background of sky blue. The lettering is imitation of gold with a black background.
The alley at the side makes it convenient to deliver stock at the rear.
On the floor of the main entrance is a “six-foot hall,” hallway oiled and cleaned. Here is the oak-furnished water-cooler for the visitor and the employees as well. To the left is the entrance to the business office. The furniture is of quarter oak, light finished, and describes a curve. The several wickets have the special wickets have the special business to be [illegible] carved over them. The rounded curve where the general business is carried on has been complimented. The brass and wire-work is also attractive.
Here is located the business department. Mr. Thomas W. Mitchell is the Business Manager and Mr. Thomas M. Crump is the Assistant. From here is sent out notification of the expiration of subscriptions, as well as circulars soliciting new ones. The telephone, Number 328 is in this room. The building is equipped with house telephones on each floor and conversations can be carries on at any time.
In the rear of this room is the editorial department, also the office of George W. Lewis, Esq., whose law department is liberally patronized. With this lone exception, the entire building is occupied by the “Planet.”
On the first floor is the press room. The middle wall was knocked out and the two rooms thereby converted into one. Here may be seen the Campbell Two Revolution Press, which will print a 5, 6 or 7 column paper, both sides at one time or an 8, 9 or 10 column paper one side at a time. It prints 1500 papers per hour. Here also may be seen two job presses. The Brown Newspaper folder is always a source of interest. It folds and packs “Planets” faster than a man can feed them to it. It will fold, paste and trim an 8-page paper. The form elevator stops in this room. To the right is this engine room. Here may be seen the Tanner and Delaney engine, 6 horse power, purchased from Chamblin and Scott and made by the Richmond and Locomotive Works. It runs like a charm. The boiler which furnishes steam to it is in the cellar of the brick house in the yard. It is 8 horse-power and was purchased from the Sydnor Pump and Well Company of this city. It furnishes enough steam to heat the building in a =addition to running the engine. The stockroom adjoins, a brick wall between, in which can be seen a car load of newspaper.
Mr. Samuel Huston is the engineer.
Mr. Charles A. Hall has charge of the press room, with Messrs. George E. Taylor and Joshua R. Griffin as assistants.
On the third door is the composing or type-setting department, in charge of Mr. Junius A. Smith. The Job and newspaper departments are in separate room.
Those employed here are; Messrs. J. Alanza Dixon, Warrick A. Kyles, John R. Cogbill, Robert A. Jackson, Clarence M. Bowler, Thomas A. Baker.
On the right is the private office of the editor. Upstairs is the stereotypical department and room for the finer grades of stock.
About this article

Location on Page

Upper Left Quadrant

Contributed By

Brian Schrott


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“A New Home,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed January 18, 2022, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1172.