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Friday, December 21, 2012

Miller & Rhoads Santa - 1960s

Reader Beth sent in a bunch of great pics, we've featured some in the past. Today we have some pictures and stories of her Great Uncle, who was the Miller & Rhoads Santa from the 1960s to the 1980s.
"My Great Uncle, Arthur Hood (we called him "Uncle Woo Hoo" due to his trick of slipping out his dentures and whistling very loud so as to startle the kids at family gatherings), on Santa's lap/ in training to take over as the next Miller & Rhoad's Santa"

"Woo Hoo in his Santa costume, with his wife, Frances Hood, on his lap. She hand-sewed all of his velvet costumes. We called her 'Aunt Ditty'"

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Children mailing letters to Santa - 1930s

The Library of Virginia's Out of the Box blog has a great picture from the 1930s of children mailing letters to Santa:

Photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia Special Collections

Monday, December 17, 2012

Broad Street - Winter 1969

Broad Street in downtown Richmond, looking West, in January of 1969.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fan Holiday House Tour - 1969

The 50th annual Fan Holiday House Tour is today and tomorrow. Here's a great poster for the 1969 tour:


Ad courtesy of The Library of Virginia

Monday, November 26, 2012

History of the A.P. Hill statue in Bellevue

Richmond.com has an excellent article on the A.P. Hill statue at Hermitage and Laburnum Avenues in Bellevue in Richmond's Northside. Included are some great pics of the statue/intersection from the 60s and 70s.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Westhampton School, The Redskins & Bon Secours

I'll take another slight jump into politics on this blog by saying that I'm not a fan of the deal the city is offering the Redskins and Bon Secours for the proposed Redskins training facility. The Redskins pay nothing in this deal, Bon Secours gets a 60 year/$5,000 a year lease on the Westhampton property, and millions of dollars are diverted from Richmond Public Schools to pay for the construction of the Redskins' training camp. Possibly worst of all is that there's no money from the sale of the school property because of the lease (as opposed to a sale), a sneaky workaround to the 2008 City Council ordinance that states that money made from the sale of surplus school properties are "limited to new school construction and the repair and renovation of active school buildings." Also, Jim Dunn, Bon Secours' vice president of advocacy and community affairs has stated Bon Secours can't make any promises on whether they'll save the Westhampton School building. My bet is there's a good chance they'll demolish it.

Bottom line, as a city tax payer with children in Richmond Public Schools, all of this is telling me the Washington Redskins are more important to our city government than the education of our children.

Even though the Westhampton School has sat empty since Richmond Community High School moved out in 2009, I wanted to put a bit of a face on the property that the City of Richmond seems to be handing to Bon Secours for demolition.

The photos below were taken a few years ago by Little Monkeys Photo Co.




Photos courtesy of Little Monkeys Photo Co.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pohlig Box Factory - Before and After

Pohlig Box Factory, August 1973:

Pohlig Box Factory, June 2012:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Freeman High School's presidential picks - Late 50s/early 60s

Don't forget to vote today!

From the 1961 Freeman High School yearbook:

From the 1957 Freeman High School yearbook:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Frank Zappa at The Richmond Coliseum - November 2nd, 1974

38 years ago tonight Frank Zappa played the Richmond Coliseum:

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obama caused the death of Bill's Barbecue?

A new ad from Mitt Romney rests the blame for the closing of Bill's Barbecue squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama. Let me take a step into the political arena for the first time in the two year history of this blog and say that his claim is completely ridiculous. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gwar - Halloween 1986 at VCU

Gwar - Shafer Court at VCU, October 31st, 1986:




Photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, October 29, 2012

I-95 traffic - Hurricane Camille - August 1969

With Hurricane Sandy approaching, I dug out this great shot of the traffic backup resulting from Hurricane Camille's flooding of the South end of I-95 as it crosses the James River. Be sure to check out the hi-rez version, there's some great details in this one!

Also, check out an older post with an almost the same angle, from 12 years earlier in 1957.


Photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia's Virginia Governor's Negative Collection

Friday, October 26, 2012

I-95 flooding - Hurricane Agnes

With Hurrican Sandy heading our way late this weekend, I thought it was a good time to take a look back. 40 years ago, in June of 1972, Hurricane Agnes caused the James River to crest at a peak of 36.5 feet in Richmond, still an all-time high.

Here's a shot of I-95, looking South from the Maury Street exit ramp:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Santana - Richmond Coliseum - October 22nd, 1971

41 years ago tonight Santana played the Richmond Coliseum:

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

C.F. Sauer - 1920s

Congratulations to C.F. Sauer on their 125th anniversary this month! Today's pic comes from a reader named Beth whose Great Uncle saved the picture below of C.F. Sauer employees and their families from what looks to be sometime in the 1920s. I'll be posting more pictures in the future from Beth's Great Uncle...

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Richmond skyline from I-95 - Before and After

Here's two shots of I-95 looking North towards the Richmond skyline. The first is probably from around 1960, the second 2012.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Friday, September 21, 2012

VCU - Hibbs construction and Shafer Court - 1967

From the 1967 RPI Cobblestone yearbook...One year before Richmond Professional Institute became Virginia Commonwealth University.

Click the photos below for the high resolution images.


Photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

John Marshall High School - Before and After

With the recent 1909-1960 John Marshall High School reunion, I figured I'd pull together a few pictures of the old building that resided at 8th and Marshall Streets in downtown Richmond (the "new" John Marshall High School is on Old Brook Rd in Richmond's north side).
"John Marshall High School opened in September 1909, even before it was completed, with grades 8-11. It was named for John Marshall (1755-1835), the eminent Virginia jurist and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The school was located on the site that had been his garden; the John Marshall House still stands in the same block.

Ground was broken for this building on March 23, 1908; the cornerstone was laid on September 30, 1908 (its contents were turned over to the Valentine Museum in 1972). The annual report for the year ended July 31, 1909, includes a picture of John Marshall High School. The dedication events (December 9, 1909), spanning a day, attracted well over 1,200 persons and included parades, a chorus, and a 21­gun salute from the Richmond Howitzers as the flag was hoisted. The large three-story stone building had an impressive temple portico with four Doric columns and a 1,500-seat auditorium (but no gymnasium).

When John Marshall was conceived and built, it was considered the grandest, most expensive schoolhouse ever erected in the South. Local newspaper articles referred to it as "The People's University" because its planners intended it to be a higher education building for the great majority of people who were not privileged to attend high school and college at that time. John Marshall was said to have a prestige unequaled by any other public high school in the state.

John Marshall closed in June 1960, and the faculty and students were transferred to the new John Marshall High School on Old Brook Road. A School Board resolution of October 26, 1960, declared the building surplus to the City and stated: 'The building and grounds are a part of the Civic Center, and the abandonment of John Marshall to become a part of the Civic Center was one of the conditions that led in the building of the two new high schools...the John Marshall building is now located in an area that is primarily commercial, and therefore has become an undesirable site for a public high school..." The decision to demolish the old building met with some protest, but it was razed in September-October-November 1961; gavels made from its timbers were presented to School Board members in February 1962. The John Marshall Courts Building is now located on the site of the old John Marshall High School."

Click the photos below for the high resolution images. First up, a brand new John Marshall High School in 1910:

Next, four sad pictures of the demolition of the school in 1961:



Top photo courtesy of The Library of Congress, all other photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bill's Barbecue menu - 1970

Bill's Barbecue opened their first location in 1931. They closed their last 3 restaurants yesterday. Here's a 1970 menu from Bill's.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Valentine Richmond History Center

Friday, September 14, 2012

Freeman High School Quiz Bowl - 1968

With school back up and running, I've dug out some high school and college goodies. First up is the Freeman vs Tucker Quiz Bowl from the 1968 Freeman High School yearbook. Dig those crazy glasses!

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Battle Axe Shoe Company - 1909, Whole Foods - 2013?

Richmond BizSense has a story about a representative from Whole Foods touring the old Department of Taxation building at 2220 West Broad Street in the city. Personally, I'd rather see a Target or Wegmans in this location. In a previous life this building was the Battle Axe Shoe Company, below is a picture of the building from 1909. Not a whole lot has changed on the front of the building in 100+ years, although Broad Street is now (thankfully) paved!

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beautiful Ginter Park - 1907

This 1907 ad for the Lewis Ginter Land & Improvement Company claims that Ginter Park has "Highest elevation of any suburb, thus ensuring pure air and good health." Note how few lots have houses, and that the trolley goes up Chamberlayne Ave, turning West on Laburnum Ave and crossing Brook "Turnpike."

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Ad courtesy of The Library of Congress

Monday, July 30, 2012

2120 East Broad St - Before and After

Today we have a Before and After of 2120 East Broad Street in Church Hill. The building houses condos today, but it has a long history. From the National Register of Historic Places registration form for the St. John's Church Historic District, filed in 1990:

"Bellevue School, constructed in 1874, is an unusual surviving example of an early public school building. Located at the northwest corner of East Broad and North Twenty-Second streets, the one-story brick building with projecting front ell and recessed entrance arcade was originally a two-story structure before a hurricane removed the second story in 1950. The school has a brick water table, recessed brick panels featuring tall segmental-arched sash windows with brick label molds, and a simple brick cornice and parapet--the result of the removal of the second story. A one-story brick service building to the rear dates from 1905. The building served as Bellevue School until a new school was built at the corner of East Grace and Twenty-Sixth streets in 1914. The old school was converted into condominiums in 1978."
First up we have a shot of this building from 1977, looking abandoned. Click the photos below for the high resolution images.


Next up, 1978. The only real difference is that the For Sale sign is gone. I'm guessing this was right before renovations began? Anyone know more about the history of this building since 1978?


Here's the building in 2012, looking better than ever:

Top two photos courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Panoramic view of Richmond - 1912

Here's a great wide angle shot of Richmond in the early 20th Century from the James River in the distance on the left, all the way around to just east of the State Capitol on the right.

Click the photo below so you can see all the detail in the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Friday, July 20, 2012

Engine Company No. 13 of the Richmond Fire Department - Before and After

I love when I can show three different eras for a Before and After. Today we can see the amazing engine house for Engine Company No. 13 of the Richmond Fire Department, on Bainbridge Street at 10th Street in Manchester during the early 20th century, 1960s and today. First up, what looks to be the 1920s. Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

Next up is a shot from December of 1963. The building still appears to be in use, with only some minor changes. The old stoplight is even still hanging in the intersection.

Unfortunately, here's how this intersection looked up until recently...the engine house is long gone, although part of the side wall remained.

As of July 2012, a block long apartment building is nearing completion where this engine house once stood. Much better than the empty lot, hopefully these apartments will fit in nicely with the neighborhood. With all the revitalization in Manchester, I can't help but wonder what the old engine house would have looked like as apartments or a house.
1920s photo courtesy of The Library of Virginia
1963 photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Jefferson Hotel - 1915

The Jefferson Hotel was only about 20 years old when this picture was taken around 1915.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sugar at The Flood Zone - 1992

Since Bob Mould has resurrected Sugar and is playing the Copper Blue album in it's entirety in random cities around the world, I thought this post was fitting. Twenty years ago today--July 14th, 1992--Sugar played the Flood Zone.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Richmond Skyline from Church Hill - Before and After

Here's a Before and After of a pretty famous view: The skyline of Richmond from the end of East Grace St in Church Hill. First up, 1974. Click the photo below for the high resolution image.


Here's what this view looked like in February of 2011. Are my eyes playing tricks on me, or has the Bank of America building sunk a bit since 1974 (compared to City Hall)? Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

1974 photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Huguenot Bridge under construction - October 1949

The old Huguenot Bridge was closed for good this past Saturday. Let's take a look at it under construction on October 3rd, 1949. This view is looking North from the Southern end of the bridge.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Dept of Transportation