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):
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:
Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries