Written by The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty
Richmond, Virginia, has been a political center since colonists settled it in the 1700s, and that history is written in its beautiful classical architecture. Incorporated in 1742 and named after its resemblance to London’s Richmond Hill, Richmond, Virginia played home to Patrick Henry’s famous 1775 speech “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death,” and was set aflame once by British troops in 1781 and again in 1865 by retreating Confederate soldiers. Despite these setbacks, Richmond established itself as a major industrial power, and for decades produced incredible quantities of iron, flour, and tobacco. Technologically speaking, Richmond was groundbreaking: the city was home to the first triple railroad crossing and the first successful electrical trolley system in the United States, which can still be seen throughout the city today.
More recently, Richmond has undergone a period of growth, with over 700 buildings constructed from 1963-1965. In 1995, a multi-million dollar floodwall was constructed in the city’s low-lying areas surrounded by the James River. Since then, the River District has since experienced a surge of cultural growth, and is now home to much of the city’s entertainment and nightlife. If you’re planning on moving to Richmond in the near future, look online for your real estate needs. In the meantime, check out these beautiful and interesting Richmond neighborhoods.
Influenced by the 19th century City Beautiful movement, The Fan is one of the most beautiful historic districts in Richmond, let alone the entire United States. The 85-block neighborhood derives its name from its eponymous shape, and is known for its variety of older architectural styles: Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival styles share the same streets, which are guided by the tracks of a 19th century trolley. Townhouses, duplexes, and carriage houses comprise the majority of the area’s not-inexpensive housing, but the area’s pricing is offset by the high quality of its public schools and excellent restaurants. The neighborhood’s beauty also lends itself perfectly to daylong strolls, where residents will bump elbows with students from Virginia Commonwealth University, lawyers, doctors, artists, and Old Society.
Jackson Ward rose to prominence in the post-Civil War South, when previously freed blacks joined newly freed blacks in an area that would later earn two prominent nicknames: “Black Wall Street of America” for its business community, and the “Harlem of the South” for its entertainment. The area’s Hippodrome Theatre hosted jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald; African-American and notable Jackson Ward resident Maggie L. Walker was the first woman to serve as president for an American bank. The desegregation that followed the end of the Civil Rights movement caused black Virginians to spread out across the city, thereby leading to the decline of Jackson Ward as the center of the black community.
More recently, however, restoration efforts have increased the community’s vitality. The First Fridays Art Walk showcases the area’s unique culture, including live salsa and jazz music as well as soul food. This revival inspired Southern Living Magazine, who recently named Jackson Ward one of the best neighborhoods in the country. Aware of its reputation for crime, the neighborhood’s current residents debate passionately that the neighborhood’s reputation for danger is undeserved: since the 1990s, its crime rate has fallen drastically.
An overview of Richmond’s historical districts would be incomplete without Church Hill, the city’s first historic district. The area is known for its array of old and beautiful churches, including St. John’s Episcopal, where Patrick Henry gave his famous aforementioned speech. It also forms the eastern point of the Broad Street, which connects many of Richmond’s commercial businesses. Residents love walking through and into the area’s f restaurants and pubs, which are spread between historical landmarks and sleepy streets.
Making Your Choice
With these three historical districts offering a small yet significant section of Richmond’s rich history, it’s no wonder that Richmond’s residents constantly champion their love for their city’s past and its positive future. Of course, feel free to investigate the numerous other lovely historical neighborhoods and discover which one is right for you.
The Steele Group Sotheby’s International Realty is a real estate company that focuses on helping people relocate to Richmond, Virginia. Make an appointment with an experienced realtor in Richmond, Virginia today.