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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thalhimer's - December 19th, 1909

Fur coats anyone? PETA would have a field day with this great full page Thalhimer's ad from the Times-Dispatch on December 19th, 1909: Sheep, Lynx, Fox, Chinchilla, Pony, Wolf, Seal, Mink, Opossum, Rabbit and even Skunk!

Click the ad below for the high resolution image.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rountree's Leather Shop - December 18th, 1910

100 years and two days ago--December 18th, 1910--this amazing full-page ad from Rountree's Leather Shop ran in the Times-Dispatch. Rountree's occupied part of the block on Broad Street where the new federal courthouse building now resides.

Click the ad below for the high resolution image.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nolde Brothers Bakery Ad - December 1909

Although the writing is a bit over the top in this Nolde Bros Bakery ad from the December 19th, 1909 Times-Dispatch, I have to admit it's making me a little hungry. This ad is from about 15 years before the construction of of the now Nolde Condos building on Broad St in Church Hill, occupied by the bakery until the 1970s.

Click the ad below for the high resolution image.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Boulevard Bridge - March 1970

No EZ Pass here, just your friendly neighborhood toll collector. From March of 1970 comes this great shot of the Nickel Bridge toll booths, back when the toll was actually a nickel.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frank Zappa at The Mosque - November 3rd, 1972

From the October 26th, 1972 issue of the University of Richmond's newspaper The Collegian, comes this great ad for Frank Zappa and his Mothers with guest Tim Buckley at The Mosque (now The Landmark Theater) on Friday November 3rd, 1972. Tim Buckley would die of a heroin overdose less than three years later.

The University of Richmond's Digital Initiatives has 89 years of The Collegian, as well as many other great collections, on it's website.

Click the photo below for the larger version.


Photo courtesy of the University of Richmond's Boatwright Library/Digital Initiatives

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wards TV (Circuit City) - 1950s

Here's a picture from the 1950s of the original Wards TV store at 705 West Broad Street. Love that giant neon sign! Wards TV opened this first store in 1949, and later became Circuit City. I believe this building stood where VCU's Technology Administration Building now sits, about a block from the intersection of Belvidere and Broad.

Tonight at the Byrd Theater is the Richmond premiere of the new documentary "A Tale of Two Cities: The Circuit City Story." Check out circuitcitystory.com for details, a lot of great info on the history of Circuit City, and some clips from the film.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First block of East Broad Street - 1908

The first block of East Broad Street in 1908, looking in the direction of Church Hill from the East/West dividing line. To give some perspective, the first building on the left is still standing, and Dabney Bros & Co (third store on the left) is now the Art6 art gallery.

Be sure to view the high resolution photo, there's a lot of great stuff going on in this scene!


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Friday, December 3, 2010

Broad Street Station - March 1975

Richmond's Broad Street Station (originally Union Station) in March of 1975, eight months before it closed. The building opened in 1919, and ran passenger trains consistently up until it's closing. Less than a year after this picture was taken, the Science Museum of Virginia began moving into the building, and has occupied it ever since. Other than being a little dirtier, it doesn't look a whole lot different than today, with the exception of the Amtrak Rail Passenger Station sign on the left.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Main Street Station, Hurricane Agnes - 1972

Here's a fitting post for this rainy Wednesday morning...Main Street Station at the height of the flooding from Hurricane Agnes in June of 1972. This shot was taken from the I-95 bridge. As a result of Agnes, the James River crested at a peak of 36.5 feet, flooding parts of downtown Richmond (the flood wall wasn't completed until 1995).

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photo from the 1972 book Hurricane Agnes…The Richmond Flood

Monday, November 29, 2010

Murphy's Hotel, 8th & Broad - 1905

Murphy's Hotel, at the corner of 8th and Broad, circa 1905. The original hotel was built in 1872. In 1886 the buildings in this photo replaced the original, and the elevated walkway over 8th Street was added. Then this version was torn down in 1913 and replaced with a larger 12 story building. The hotel was later sold to the state, and in 1969 was converted to offices. Sadly, it was demolished in 2007.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Here's a link to a few pictures of the newer building, and it's demolition.

Here's what this intersection looks like today. The parking lot on the left is where the 1913 version of Murphy's Hotel stood until 2007:


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Soul Asylum & The Lemonheads at The Flood Zone - 1992

Here's a poster for Soul Asylum, The Lemonheads & Failure at The Flood Zone in Shockoe Bottom, November 24th, 1992, right around the height of mainstream success for both headlining bands. Back before Have A Nice Day Cafe took over the spot in the late 90s, The Flood Zone brought some great bands to Richmond. It's probably best known for the weekly Dave Matthews Band shows in the early 90s.

I'll have more music related posts as time goes on, and if anyone has any old ads/flyers/photos of national bands playing Richmond that you would like to share, use the email link on the right.

Click the photo below for the larger version.

Monday, November 22, 2010

W. Jackson Street, Jackson Ward - 1920s

The 100 block of West Jackson Street in Jackson Ward from what looks to be the 1920s, judging by the car on the right. I drive past these three houses a lot, and have always loved the larger house on the right. The fact that all of the houses in this photo survived the construction of I-95 less than one block away is a miracle. Hopefully someone will fix these up before they end up one big empty lot, like a lot of other sections of Jackson Ward these days. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Here's (sort of) what these three houses look like today. This shot is a few years old, and unfortunately the middle house has had a fire and all three houses look much worse:


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

VCU - James Branch Cabell Library - 1970

The James Branch Cabell Library on VCU's Monroe Park campus, probably from the first year it was open in 1970. Only one story tall in this photo, the other three floors wouldn't be added until 1975. Behind the library are a row of houses on Park Ave that have since been demolished. The performing arts center now covers that whole block.

Click the photo for the high resolution version.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Virginia Capitol Bell Tower, girl with swastika - 1908

A group of young women enjoy a nice day sitting in the grass in front of the Bell Tower on the grounds of the Virginia State Capitol in downtown Richmond, circa 1908. The Bell Tower was completed in 1825, and is still used today to call the General Assembly of Virginia into session.

One thing interesting about this photo is the swastika pin one girl has on her collar, about a dozen years before the Nazi party in Germany would adopt it as their symbol.


Here it is uncropped, click the photo for the high resolution image.


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Thursday, November 11, 2010

500 Block of West Broad St - July 1980

A run down stretch of W. Broad St near VCU in downtown Richmond from July of 1980. The On Leong Chinese Merchants Association occupied two of the four buildings pictured, but even they appear long gone by the time this photograph was taken. The building on the far left is now gone and the CVS parking lot has replaced it. A great restaurant, The Belvidere at Broad, now occupies 506 W Broad. See below for a current, much less desolate shot of this scene. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Here's roughly the same shot today:


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Azalea Mall - Late 1960s

Northside's Azalea Mall in it's late 60s heyday. Richmond's first enclosed mall opened to much fanfare in 1962, closed in 1995 from among other things, competition from the new Virginia Center Commons a little to the north, and was demolished in 1999.

Driving by today you'll still see the sign in the photo below, but it's now rusted and surrounded by cracked asphalt, weeds, litter and small trees. Don't be fooled by the desolation though, the Azalea Garden Center is still open at the rear of the property, near Westminster Canterbury. It's a great family run business, and I highly recommend it.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Double house on College Street in downtown Richmond - Early 1900s

This house at 311-313 College Street in downtown Richmond appears to have occupied the block where VCU's Massey Cancer Center now resides, across from the Egyptian building.

The small sign in front of the house says "Funeral Parking," possibly from the Monumental Church which was located around the corner?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bruce Springsteen at the Franklin Street Gym - 1973

From Valentines Day 1973 comes this flyer for Bruce Springsteen opening for Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks at what was then the new VCU gym on Franklin Street. Bruce was a regular in Richmond in the early 70s, first with Steel Mill, then later with his own band, including a 9 show run at The Back Door on Grace Street in February of 1972 (later Twisters & Nanci Raygun, now Strange Matter). Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

The Brucebase website has a few pictures from this concert and a little history here.

And here is a review of Bruce's set that night that ran in the University of Richmond Collegian on February 22nd, 1973.


Image from the February 1973 issue of the Fan Free Funnies, courtesy of VCU Libraries

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Main Street Station - 1910

Main Street Station, roughly 48 years before the construction of I-95/Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike would obscure this view forever. Main Street Station was built in 1901, and passenger service continued until the mid 70s. The building survived a major fire in 1983, and a failed mall a few years later. Passenger service returned in 2003. I especially like the horse cart in this photo that says "PHONE 1203" with a backwards N. Click the photo for the high resolution image.


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Album Den, Broad Street - 1986

From July of 1986 comes this gem. The Album Den resided at 301 W. Broad Street. Note the Billy Ocean and Madonna posters in the window in the large version, as well as the faded Maxell cassettes on the sign between the 2nd and 3rd floors. Not sure when this record store closed, but I do remember when Corporate and Museum Frame opened at this address in the early 90s. Can anyone shed more light on this store? I'm guessing from the font on their sign that the Album Den must date back to the mid 70s at least. Click the photo for the high resolution version.


Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beautiful Woodland Heights - 1910

From the May 1st, 1910 issue of The Times-Dispatch comes this great ad for Woodland Heights. According to this ad, it's a "most delightful section, on the bluffs overlooking the river and Richmond and right at the city's gates." The city of Richmond wouldn't annex this section of what was then Chesterfield County for another four years. Click the photo for the high resolution version.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Richmond skyline - between 1900 and 1915

The skyline of Richmond, from sometime between 1900 and 1915. It took me awhile to figure it out, but this is looking northwest from just south of the State Capital. Note the Miller and Rhoads Dry Goods tower and the Richmond News Leader building. Click the photo for the high resolution version.


Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

In the beginning...

Welcome.....Over the years I've collected many old photos of Richmond (real and digital), as well as books, pamphlets, ads, and much more. This blog will serve as a showcase for a high resolution look at the history of Richmond, VA. Contributions are always welcome, whether they be stories or images. Just use the Submit Photos link. And feel free to add any info you may have about each post in the comments section. Sit back and enjoy!