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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Leigh Street Armory - 1975

Happy New Year everyone! With over 100,000 page views in a little over a year, it's been a fun ride. And lots more is on the way. Thanks to everyone for stopping by, commenting, reposting, sharing, etc. And thanks to great local blogs for sharing my posts, like Hills & Heights, Fan of the Fan, Greater Jackson Ward News, West of the Boulevard, Church Hill People's News, and probably more that I'm forgetting.

For the first post of 2012, a little good news. A few days ago it was reported that the Leigh Street Armory would receive a $600,000 grant from the state for renovations. Today I've got a shot of it from 1975, not long before it was abandoned and fell into decay. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what this landmark building looks like today (but not for long).

The armory in 1975. Click the photo for the high resolution image.


The armory in 2011:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Byrd Airport Christmas tree lighting - 1960

Now THAT'S a Christmas tree. From Byrd Airport (AKA Richmond International Airport), taken on December 15th, 1960.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia's Adolph B. Rice Studio collection

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1975 Richmond Billboard

"This billboard proclaimed a slogan adopted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce in early 1975."

It wouldn't be the 70s without a rainbow...

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo from the book Richmond: Her Triumphs, Tragedies & Growth

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

VCU - skating and biking Shafer Ct - 1968

Some great shots from the year RPI became Virginia Commonwealth University. Proving that even in the late 60s, Shafer Court was the place to hang out/show off, and that skaters were a part of Shafer Court a lot earlier than I realized. Too bad first the gravel, then bricks ruined that. Check out those Schwinn Stingrays!

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Friday, December 2, 2011

Richmond skyline - 1968

Today I've got a great shot of the Richmond skyline from across the James in 1968, another amazing picture from VCU's archives. I love the Chesterfield and Marlboro signs. In the foreground is the original Lee Bridge, the old factories that still operated on Belle Isle, and just a hint of the old train yard that was at the South end of the Lee Bridge.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Broad Street - Thalhimers - 1969

What better way to celebrate the first official day of the holiday shopping season than a picture of Broad Street and Thalhimers from (near the end of) it's heyday?

This is Broad Street looking east from January of 1969. You can still see the large plastic candles and Christmas trees in the median. Also note the Wards TV store (later Circuit City), and The Towne (now The National) showing Funny Girl. West Hospital is in the distance, as is the crane and yellow tarps that signal the beginnings of the "new" City Hall.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.
Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bruce Springsteen with Steel Mill - 1969

Here's a poster for an early show from Bruce Springsteen's band Steel Mill. They played at The Center on the corner of Laurel & Broad Street near VCU on November 20th, 1969...42 years ago yesterday. A great story about the show can be found here from the guitarist of Richmond's Mercy Flight, who opened the show. The Center eventually became Rockitz in the 80s, then The Metro and The Factory in the 90s. Empire is now downstairs, the upstairs has been closed for years. Only 2 bucks for this show!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Fan - 1963

Funny thing about old photos of The Fan, they look very similar to a picture of The Fan taken last week. With one exception: The cars! I love this shot of The Fan from February of 1963 for that very reason. Anyone know what street/block this is?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, November 14, 2011

Regency Mall construction - 1975

Today's image of Regency Mall under construction comes from the 1975 Freeman High School yearbook.

The quote for this picture:
"Rugged landscape and a construction skeleton mark the erection of the largest shopping center on the east coast, Regency Square."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free ATM demonstration and Big Mac - 1979

With all the talk lately of monthly fees to use your debit card, I thought this Virginia National Bank ad from a 1979 issue of the University of Richmond's newspaper The Collegian was pretty fitting.

Not only did you not have to pay a monthly fee for your "cash flow card," but you also got two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun...

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teddy Roosevelt "horsecade" on Broad Street - 1905

Today's image is from what appears to be Theodore Roosevelt's only visit to Richmond. From a stereograph published by Underwood & Underwood. The quote on this one: "Broad Street, lined with school children applauding President Roosevelt."

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The B-52s at The Mosque - 1989

22 years ago today the B-52s played The Mosque (now The Landmark Theater).

Today's ad comes from the October 26th, 1989 issue of the University of Richmond's newspaper The Collegian.


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

Friday, November 4, 2011

Monroe Park signal station - 1976

In the late 70s the widening of Belvidere Street took a fairly large chunk out of Monroe Park, and resulted in the demolition of the 1923 signal station building. From the 2008 Monroe Park Master Plan:
"In 1923, the City opted to place a signal station for fire and police alarms in the northeast corner of the park along Belvidere Street. The placement of the building in the center of a plat did not disrupt the plan for the park and followed the tradition set by the park house in 1890. The classical revival building with its stone fa├žade and large windows was one of a number of elegant classical revival utilitarian buildings constructed by the City in the 1920s, including the hydroelectric plant and pumping stations in Byrd Park. The building, which faced Belvidere Street, was a commanding architectural presence."
The black dotted line in the photos below show the chunk of Monroe Park that was lost in the late 70s to Belvidere Street. I believe the building in the distance in the second photo was lost as well. The building behind it was torn down in the 90s for the VCU Engineering building. That building will be the subject of a future post, if I ever get around to scanning my old negatives. Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Looking Southwest across the Belvidere/Franklin intersection towards the Landmark Theater (the signal station is the building on the left):

Looking South down Belvidere Street:
Photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cloverleaf Mall - 1970s

After reading this story of the beginning of Cloverleaf Mall's demise the other day, I dug up a few photos from it's heyday in the 1970s.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Photos from the book Richmond: Her Triumphs, Tragedies & Growth

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Ramones at the VCU Gym - 1978

33 years ago tonight the Ramones rocked the VCU gym:

Here's a few pics of the crowd from that night. Coneheads, Unknown Comic, Rocky Horror, "Punk Rock," very fitting costumes for the late 70s:


And here's a short article from the week after the concert. Although there's a few pics from the VCU concert, there's surprisingly almost no mention at all of the actual concert. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Richmond Skyline from across the James - 1907

From the pamphlet for the 1907 Richmond United Confederate Veterans Reunion comes this early shot of the Richmond skyline from across the James.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo from the 1907 United Confederate Veterans Reunion pamphlet

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1950 Carytown Singer Sewing Center Store Window

Today's image is another great one from PLCjr on Flickr. His description:
"This was the early 1950's store window display at the Singer Sewing Center in Carytown at 3104 W. Cary St., Richmond, Virginia. My father-in-law managed the store at the time. The space is now occupied by The One Eyed Jacques."
So, before people stayed up late playing board games in One Eyed Jacques, they may have stayed up late sewing?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Friday, October 21, 2011

War & Ohio Players at the Richmond Coliseum - 1973

Continuing on the theme from yesterday...38 years ago today War played the Richmond Coliseum with the Ohio Players.

Today's ad comes from the October 11th, 1973 issue of the University of Richmond's newspaper The Collegian.


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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Richmond Coliseum Grand Opening - 1971

In 1971 we were 750,000 entertainment starved people...40 years later we're 1.2 million entertainment starved people. Love the info on the renovated Mosque as well.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of Billboard magazine

Friday, October 14, 2011

I-95 and Main Street Station - 1976

Mike Robbins provides us with today's great image of Main Street Station across I-95 from June of 1976. Love the billboard! I'll let him describe it:

"Main Street Station in a view across I-95 in downtown Richmond, Virginia, June 1976. You may note that there is passenger equipment located on the platform tracks beneath the train shed. This station was originally built for the SAL and C&O. The station was out of service for many years, due to the James River flood damage from Hurricane Agnes, plus there was a couple of fires at the station too with damage. In 1975 the Staples Mill Road Amtrak Station, located 9.1 miles away to the north, was opened by Amtrak to replace this damaged facility. This station has been restored and is in use today for Amtrak Regional Service with more services to come hopefully in the future. Check out the Jive Cadillac or Kitty with the full size white wall tires and fender skirts rolling along the highway."
Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of Mike Robbins

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tina Turner & Steel Mill at The Mosque - 1970

41 years ago today Bruce Springsteen and his band Steel Mill opened for Ike & Tina Turner at The Mosque (now The Landmark Theater).

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Richmond grocery store circa 1924

Today's pic comes from Flickr user PLCjr. I'll let him explain it:
"Not sure of the exact date but it is my wife's dad in knickers pictured at his job. This may be a Sanitary store in Richmond's Fan. Items on the rack next to him are marked Virginia. (There's a ton of detail in the original size picture.)

My wife can't remember where the store may have been. She remembers her dad telling her it was near Monroe Park. It may have been the old Style building at 1301 Main Street (which I worked in) or somewhere on the 1400 block of Main.

It was "Sanitary Grocery" because everything was out of customers reach and a clerk would retrieve your goods. A very hygienic clerk I guess :-)."
Make sure you check out the high resolution image, there's some amazing detail in this photo!

Monday, October 3, 2011

2210 East Broad Street - Before and After

In April of 1975, 2210 East Broad Street in Church Hill looked like many old houses still look today in Richmond. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to not only save this house, but renovate back to what it must have looked like when it was first built. See below for what this house looks like today.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.


Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, September 29, 2011

James River and the old Lee Bridge - 1977

From the June 1977 issue of VCU's Commonwealth Times comes this great shot of the old Robert E. Lee Bridge. This version of the bridge opened in 1934 and was torn down in the late 80s. The current Lee Bridge opened in 1989.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yes & The Eagles - Richmond Coliseum - 1972

Continuing on the theme from yesterday, here's an ad from the University of Richmond's Collegian for The Eagles opening for Yes on September 27th, 1972 at the Richmond Coliseum. 39 years ago today. The Eagles were opening the tour, and supporting their first album that had only been released 3 months earlier. See below for a review of the show from VCU's Commonwealth Times, from an obvious Yes fan.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.



Top image courtesy of the University of Richmond's Boatwright Library/Digital Initiatives
Bottom image courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Grass Roots at The Mosque - 1970

The Grass Roots are known for hits like Let's Live for Today, Midnight Confessions, Temptation Eyes, Sooner or Later & I'd Wait a Million Years. Recently, some know them because one of their founding members/songwriters/guitarists/vocalists was Creed Bratton, who plays a fictitional version of himself on NBC's sitcom The Office. You can see him in the video below (not from The Mosque) with the striped shirt:



When The Grass Roots played Richmond 41 years ago today Creed had recently left the group to pursue his acting career, although he still performs and records as a solo artist.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ukrop's - Hull Street - 1953

"To serve you better, a new modern Ukrop's"

Ukrop's Supermarket, 3600 Hull Street. Photo taken on November 11th, 1953.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia's Adolph B. Rice Studio collection

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Parker Field - 1960s

As we look back on a great season and playoff run from the Richmond Flying Squirrels, let's take a look back to Parker Field and the Richmond Braves in the 60s.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Image from the 1969 Richmond Progress Report by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce

Friday, September 16, 2011

Before and After - Imperial Tobacco Building

This is both my favorite, and least favorite post. Favorite because of how amazing this building is, least favorite because it's long gone.

The Imperial Tobacco Building stood at the corner of 6th and Canal Streets in downtown Richmond. I'm guessing it was torn down not long after these pictures were taken in March of 1977, but I'm not sure. And since then, probably over 30 years, it's been a parking lot. Why was this beautiful building torn down for a parking lot?? We may never know. See the bottom of this post for the pictures of the present day parking lot.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.


Looking up 6th Street:


Two other buildings on 6th Street (also gone):


Front door:




I discovered these pictures awhile ago, but it wasn't until I wrote this post about the construction of the Downtown Expressway that I figured out where the Imperial Tobacco building had been located (you can see it on the left side of the pic in that post). A quick trip to the corner of 6th and Canal St confirmed this...The people who left us with a full half block of parking lots in place of these amazing buildings were kind enough to leave the front steps, and some of the front and side walls as a reminder. As you scroll below you'll see that even the old stone window sills remain, now acting as a curb between the sidewalk and the parking lot. This first picture is from the same angle as the first 1977 image above:

The old front steps:

Old windowsills:


Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Proposed Richmond Expressway Toll Plaza - 1960s

Late 60s artist's view of a toll plaza proposed on the Richmond Expressway System. The Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike and a 42 mile stretch of 64 were the only highways in Richmond at the time.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Image from the 1969 Richmond Progress Report by the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce

Monday, September 12, 2011

View of Richmond from Belle Isle - 1865

Here's an amazing shot for this fine Monday morning, a completely treeless view of downtown Richmond from the top of the hill on Belle Isle in 1865. If you look just to the left of center on the horizon in the distance, you can see the state capitol building. This was taken after the end of the Civil War, although it's hard to see the burned district, even on the hi-rez version of this photo. You can see the remains of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad bridge though, off to the right, above the cannon.


Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Broad Street Station tracks - 1976

Mike Robbins provides us with today's great image of Broad Street Station from June of 1976, about a year after the station closed. I'll let him describe it:

"Broad Street Station (AKA Union Station) platforms with tracks partially removed at Richmond, Virginia, June 1976. This beautiful old station was last used by Amtrak in 1975, however, Amtrak trains then moved to the Staples Mill Road Station located on the RF&P mainline. This station was originally constructed in 1917 for the RF&P, but was also used by the ACL and N&W. Eventually the SAL switched from using the Main Street Station located in the downtown area to this station. Finally the station was later used by the SCL and Amtrak. Today this station building is home to the Science Museum of Virginia. On the right side of the photo in the middle is a couple of fellows with a mechanical spike pulling machine performing their task."
Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of Mike Robbins

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Before and After - 9 North 29th Street

Another before and after success story. This time it's 9 North 29th Street in Church Hill. First up, 1974.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

And here's this house in 2011:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries