Friday, February 25, 2011

William Barret House, Fifth & Cary - 1930s

I've often found great pictures for this blog, only to discover that the building was razed long ago. This is the first of (hopefully) many before and after posts I'll do of a house/building that has survived all these years and is still with us.

First up is the William Barret House, built in 1844 at the corner of 5th and Cary Streets. When this picture was taken in the 1930s, it had survived almost 100 years, including the Civil War and the burning of Richmond in April of 1865. Click the photo below for the high resolution image of this house.

And here is the house today, about 75 years later. It's now an office instead of a residence, but actually looks better than it did in the 1930s. If you look closely, you'll notice the tree on the right has also survived these last 75 years of change in downtown Richmond. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Top photo courtesy of The Library of Congress


  1. Anyone else find it peculiar to see 5th Street with 2-way traffic in the first pic? Gives the photo a surreal feel for this lifelong Richmonder...

  2. Great photo - love the cobblestones in the 1930's picture. I so wish that the city would uncover the historic paving materials! Also, I agree that its strange to see this as a 2-way street - I think that the city's Master Plan has suggested returning some of downtown's streets to 2-way traffic as a traffic-calming measure. Not sure if Fifth Street is one of them, though.

  3. I don't know how I haven't mentioned this to you before, but I work in this building.

    Any time you want to come in and check it out, let me know. I'd be happy to give you the full nickel tour.

  4. Funny, I should have known that by the sign out front. I'd love to check it out someday...


    Thompson Davis has a nice little piece on the house's history on their website...