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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

Friday, September 2, 2011

VCU demolition update - Part 1

At first glance, I almost thought VCU had started to renovate this 1889 building that I first posted about a few months ago, rather than demolish it. But the side street being closed, the dumpster, and all the fencing said otherwise. A quick look on the internets led me to the story that confirmed my suspicions: The building (and the one behind it) is still coming down to make way for an extension to the dorms next door.

What bothers me most about this is how sneaky VCU has become with tearing these old buildings down. From a Greater Jackson Ward News post a few months ago:
"Because the building at Broad and Gilmer is not state property, it is owned by the VCU Real Estate Foundation rather than the university, it is not subject to review by her department.

The department (of Historic Resources) was made aware of the VCU plans as a courtesy but had no formal role because foundations by law are considered private entities."
Stay classy VCU.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.