Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Before And After - Broad Street at 1st - 1985

Today's Before And After comes from August of 1985. Although all the buildings are still intact, there's been lots of changes to the businesses over the last 27 years, and the addition of trees. But Harvey's Progressive Barber Shop still remains, even with the same sign!

1985 - Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

2012 - Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Update on the former Triangle Adult Book Store

The Richmond Times-Dispatch had a story and photo yesterday on the transformation of Triangle Book Store (first mentioned here) into En Su Boca. It gives some insight into the building's past, and the photo below (not the best, I had to scan it from the newspaper) gives a hint to what the interior looks like. Text of the article is below the photo.

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

The difficult task of converting the former home of a pornographic bookstore into a dining establishment has fallen to restaurateur Patrick Stamper.

Stamper, who also co-owns Bellytimber Tavern in Richmond, is renovating the former Triangle bookstore — which sold adult movies, toys and was equipped with private viewing booths — on the Boulevard.

"It was gross," he said about cleaning and tearing up the building's interior.

The new restaurant, which is expected to open this spring, will be called En Su Boca, an upscale San Francisco-style taqueria. He's bringing in San Francisco chef Eric Stangarone to help develop the menu.

The process of converting the eyesore began several weeks ago.

Stamper said he decided to tackle the space because it was a good location for a restaurant — as well as a service to the community.

"Look around. You've got a baseball stadium (and a) popular movie theater right up the road" and several established restaurants, he said, referring to The Diamond, Movieland at Boulevard Square, Buz & Ned's and Stronghill Dining Co.

"I see (En Su Boca) as the kind of place people can sit outside on a summer night, have a margarita and watch the fireworks."

Transforming the building is a difficult, labor-intensive process, but Stamper said he's encouraged by what he's finding under the detritus of the bookstore: the shell of the original gas station.

The building was a gas station in the 1950s and '60s before converting to a porn shop in the 1970s. It was sold last year.

"It's a really solid place," Stamper said.

The 1,300-square-foot building is small, but he hopes to knock out a back wall and add a few hundred square feet. He also plans to incorporate the bay door to open up to outside seating.

He think most people eventually will forget what the space used to be. But that's not happening yet.

"At least once a day somebody stops by looking for the porn shop," Stamper said.

Photo and story courtesy of The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Monday, February 20, 2012

Snow in The Fan - 1964

Could have been taken last night, huh? Well, except for the cars...Great shot of snow falling in The Fan from the 1964 RPI (VCU) Cobblestone yearbook. Can anyone figure out what street this is?

Click the photo below for the high resolution image.

Photo courtesy of VCU Libraries

Monday, February 6, 2012

Before and After: 14 & 16 North Laurel Street

I figured after a few negative VCU posts it's time for something a little more positive. Today we see 14 and 16 N. Laurel Street (across from Monroe Park) back in 1975 and today. Both houses are still intact today, are used by VCU for offices (School of World Studies and Office of General Counsel), and in much better shape outside than they were 37 years ago. Click the photos below for the high resolution images.

March 1975:

January 2012:

Top photo courtesy of VCU Libraries