Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheech and Chong at The Mosque - 1979

From March 28th, 1979 - 32 years ago today - comes this ad for Cheech and Chong performing at The Mosque.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Downtown Expressway construction - 1975

More before and after pictures today, this time featuring the construction of the Downtown Expressway from October of 1975.

Normally on this blog you won't see me choose steel and glass new construction over old buildings, but in this case...WOW. Downtown Richmond was a sea of parking lots and pavement in 1975...2011 is a vast improvement--with the exception of the no longer standing Imperial Tobacco building to the left in the top picture. More on that in a later post.

1975...Click the photo for the high resolution image.

Here's the same shot in 2011, over 35 years later. Click the photo for the high resolution image:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, March 21, 2011

VCU Rams - 1966

In honor of their big win last night, here's a great shot of the 1966 Rams from the Cobblestone yearbook. Technically, the title of this post is wrong, it was actually the RPI (Richmond Professional Institute) Rams in 1966. But by the end of the decade they were the VCU Rams, so close enough.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, March 17, 2011

View of Rocketts Landing from Libby Hill - 1860s

With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War approaching, I thought it was a good time to post the first Civil War era photo on the blog. This view of Rocketts Landing and the James River was taken between 1861 and 1865 from Libby Hill.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Monday, March 14, 2011

Uncovering Monument Ave cobblestones - 1974

I remember reading years ago about a Monument Avenue resident who courageously stood in front of the trucks and equipment that were set to pave over the cobblestones. So I was a bit surprised to find these images of city workers removing pavement on Monument Ave to reveal the old cobblestones. However, a close inspection of the second to last image below shows only the approach to the Lee traffic circle (and the circle itself) as being paved. The rest appears unpaved. Below is a quote I found on this website.

"...the planned repaving of Monument Avenue in 1968 provided an opportunity for public discussion. Helen Marie Taylor, the owner of a huge mansion at 2325 Monument, stood in front of a paving machine that was to lay asphalt over the original asphalt Belgian blocks. Commuters and residents alike complained about the noise the blocks made when driven over, but when it came to repaving, the residents chose history over progress: The earlier events had primed the public, so when Mrs. Taylor blocked the work of the paving machine, the entire city joined in the debate. The homeowners and preservationists won the battle after some months, and Monument Avenue's fate had become a part of the public agenda."

The photos below are from June of 1974 and were taken at the end of the 1600 block of Monument Ave, heading west, almost right in front of a building I lived in for a year. Anyone know if the woman in the second picture is Helen Marie Taylor? Little did these workers know they were dooming hundreds of parked cars in the Lee Circle for years to come: Those cobblestones are slippery when wet! I personally saw a good dozen cars hit while I lived there. But I'm still glad they removed the pavement.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Thursday, March 10, 2011

East Franklin St - Church Hill - 1974

Another installment of our Before And After series, this time it's a few houses on the 2500 block of East Franklin Street in Church Hill from August of 1974.

Doing this blog has led me to discover many beautiful old buildings in Richmond that have been torn down, so here's another case where the buildings have not only survived, but actually been improved. The two middle houses appear to be occupied in this picture, although the front doors are boarded up and their porches are missing. They also look a little rough, as does the block in general. Gotta love those cars though.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Fast forward almost 27 years, and here are the same houses today, fixed up and thriving:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bad Brains & Scream at The Flood Zone - 1986

Here's a flyer for the Bad Brains, Scream, Beefeater and the Alter-Natives at The Flood Zone in Shockoe Bottom from March 7th, 1986...25 years ago today. This show was about 6 months before the Bad brains  released I Against I, and appears to be about a year before some guy named Dave Grohl joined Scream on drums

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Southside Plaza - 1960s

Here's a picture of a booming Southside Plaza in the late 1960s. Southside Plaza originally opened in 1957, just a year after Richmond's first suburban shopping center, Willow Lawn. It's had ups and downs over the years, including the loss of a lot of business to nearby Cloverleaf Mall when it opened in 1972. However, Southside Plaza still thrives today, and has even outlasted Cloverleaf Mall, which has closed, and will be demolished this Spring/Summer.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shockoe Bottom - 1980

Reader Susan Benshoff sent in these great shots of Shockoe Bottom from 1980. All of these are different angles of the intersection of N. 18th and East Franklin. The first image shows the bottom of the sign for the building on the Northwest corner. It's been abandoned as long as I've lived in Richmond, and I've always wondered why, and what it used to be. The seafood store on the opposite corner is now a parking lot.