East Marshall Street Well Project East Marshall Street Well Project

Project history

In April 1994, human bones and artifacts from the 19th century were discovered in an abandoned well uncovered during construction on Virginia Commonwealth University’s MCV Campus. The well’s contents are believed to have been discarded in the 1800s by medical staff.

These humans, mainly of African descent, were not shown the respect they were due, neither in life nor in death. The university is committed to moving forward in a manner reflecting the dignity that should be accorded these individuals and has created the East Marshall Street Well Project to facilitate a process with the community that ensures the remains receive appropriate study, memorialization and reburial.

Learn more about the project.



The Family Representative Council presented its final recommendations to the Planning Committee in August 2018 and to the public in December 2018. Three implementation steering committees for research, memorialization and interment are being formed. These committees will work to implement the final recommendations of the Family Representative Council.

The ceremonies were a beautiful tribute and a beautiful beginning to this process. I am hopeful and look forward to the future of this project.