Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1813-1815 East Grace - Before and After

Today we take a look at two attached houses on the 1800 block of East Grace (collectively known as the Crump House) from three different eras.

First up, the early 20th century. This picture comes courtesy of Sydney Jordan-Cooley, Lead Carpenter at Restoration Builders of Virginia, and was originally posted in my second writeup about the houses next door. At the time the house on the left was the home of S. Katz Grocery. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Fast forward about 50 years or so to 1974, and both buildings seem to be residential. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

About 6 months later in 1975, from a different angle. The side has some great ads left over from when Louis Grocery occupied the building. The buildings (and the block) are obviously in pretty rough shape, having survived a few big hurricanes/floods in the previous 6 years. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

And here are the houses today, renovated and thriving, click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Middle two photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Friday, June 24, 2011

Willow Lawn Mall demolition has begun

In case anyone hasn't seen it lately, the enclosed mall at Willow Lawn is no more. Now here's something old in Richmond I won't miss! Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Richmond Progress Report - 1948-1953

I bought this a few months back, and finally got around to scanning it. Some great pictures and info in this, and I'll be posting more in the future. For now, enjoy the cover shot of Broad Street looking east from the mid 1950s. Among other things, I love the Planters Peanuts store on the North side of Broad. Amazingly, a lot of the buildings in the foreground of this picture are still there today, including the tallest, the Central National Bank Building.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sixth Street Market - 1908

Great shot today of Richmond's old Sixth Street Market. I believe this picture was taken near the intersection of Sixth and Marshall/Sixth and Clay. Essentially where the Richmond Coliseum sits now. This website has some great research from a student at Boston College that gives  insight into the market and it's location:

"Second Market Station House was located on 6th and Marshall Streets in Richmond, VA.  It opened around 1817 and was sometimes referred to as the New Market. It eventually became the 6th Street Market. During the 19th century there was a jail located in the market facility. A brick building between Marshall and Clay Streets held butchers, and a shed structure between Clay and Leigh held vegetable sellers. In the main brick buildings at both First and Second Markets, the City had police stations on the upper floor with a lock-up."

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Belle Isle - 1965

I have to admit, I was surprised by the amount of industry still active on Belle Isle in this picture from October of 1965. So many amazing things about this photo: The Phillip Morris billboard/sign, the old bridge, all the buildings, the two working dams that essentially create new islands that don't exist today, and an actual working hydroelectric power plant (that used to supply the power for Richmond's trolley cars), long before neglect left it literally falling down on itself.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vampire Hookers at Loew's Theatre - 1978

One year before the Loew's Theatre on Grace Street closed, and 5 years before it reopened as the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts (now the Carpenter Theatre), it showed this classic (sarcasm) starring David Carridine. Can you imagine this title on the marquee today?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five buildings VCU will tear down next month.

Let me start this post by saying that I am a graduate of VCU, and they have done some great things for this city. I should also mention that a lot of the pictures I use on this site were saved, scanned and hosted by VCU Libraries. Unfortunately, preserving historic architecture isn't one of VCU's strong points. Take a look around the Monroe Park campus: Almost all of the city blocks those buildings, tennis courts and parking lots reside on were once filled with turn of the century row houses.

After a fairly high profile article in the Times-Dispatch Monday on future construction at VCU, I thought I would give a face to the buildings VCU is planning to raze next month. Will the world end when these five buildings are torn down? Of course not. But VCU has quietly (and not so quietly at times) been removing old historic buildings for decades. So as it states in the article above, and another article from February of 2010, there's probably no true historical significance to these five buildings surrounded by parking lots. But taken as a whole, this demolished stretch of the Fan District is very historically significant. Just because VCU has taken 40+ years to raze the block they're about to build on doesn't mean we should give them a pass.

Both of the articles mentioned above state there were no objections from any Fan residents. Is this true? I find that hard to believe, and I hope some Fan residents (and others, for or against this project) leave their thoughts in the comments below.

Below are the buildings that will be demolished next month, and the years built. Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

102 North Linden Street, built in 1900:

104 North Linden Street, built in 1900:

106 North Linden Street, built in 1910:

1000-1002 Floyd Ave - Baptist Student Union, built in 1905:

109 North Harrison Street - Education Annex, built in 1954:

Thankfully, the VCU Meeting Center at 101 North Harrison Street will be saved. It was built in 1910, and has a fairly storied past. But will it really be saved? The VCU six year capital plan calls for another classroom building on Floyd, right next to the one being built this year. And there won't be any space left on that block except for this former church:

And what will take the place of these mostly 100+ year old buildings? Definitely not the worst when it comes to modern VCU buildings, but I for one will be sad to see it built.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Boulevard - 1978

From May of 1978 comes this shot of Boulevard looking North from near Broad St. I love all the signs in this picture, especially Car Wash City. Are those the lights from Parker Field in the distance on the right? And is that the same Lighthouse Restaurant (on the left) that was in Manchester years ago?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jesus Lizard at The Flood Zone - 1993

Aaahhh the grunge years in Richmond. Not that the Jesus Lizard were grunge, but some of the people in this crowd shot sure are. Anyone spot themselves in this pic from The Flood Zone on June 4th, 1993...18 years ago yesterday? Helmet and Loudspeaker played as well. My favorite is the guy with the overall shorts in the upper right corner.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of Kip Dawkins

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

734-736 West Broad St - VCU demolition?

Here's a great shot, courtesy of Joey Harrison, of 734-736 West Broad St from 1990. Over time I grew to appreciate this building, the lettering was amazing! More recently, this building was renovated to look closer to it the way it must have looked when it was built in 1889, and served as the home of Common Groundz Coffee Shop.

Unfortunately, VCU filed a demolition permit last Fall for this building, and the one behind it. The Historic Richmond Foundation has some information on this building's plight, and Richmond BizSense ran an article last Fall stating that the demolition plans were on hold. More recently, Style Weekly ran a short story saying the demolition plans were on, and the addition to the VCU apartments next door were scheduled to open in the Fall of 2012. Anyone know the current status of this building?