Jackson Ward Historic District

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About Jackson Ward
Richmond's Jackson Ward neighborhood is located on the northern edge of the downtown district. It was originally built by European immigrants attracted to and made prosperous by Richmond's status as a central retail hub. Freed slaves began moving into the neighborhood during Reconstruction, and by 1920 Jackson Ward was one of the most active and well-known centers of African-American life in the country.

Jackson Ward hosted a thriving entertainment district centered on the famed Hippodrome theatre. Among the names that appeared regularly were Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Richmond's own Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. The neighborhood was the home of a number of large and well-known African-American churches, including the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, founded by famous orator John Jasper. It also hosted a strong retail and business community in which Maggie L. Walker became the first woman in America to found and lead a bank in the United States when she opened the St. Luke Penny Savings. Jackson Ward was also the home and headquarters for civil rights advocate John Mitchell, Jr., editor of the Richmond Planet, which crusaded against the discrimination and persecution of African-Americans in the South.

The late 1950s would have a devastating effect on the unity of Jackson Ward. City and state officials designed the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (now part of I-95) to pass through Jackson Ward, bisecting the neighborhood and tearing down many structures. At the same time, desegregation and white flight were opening other neighborhoods to blacks, beginning a scattering that gradually left more and more of Jackson Ward in the possession of absentee landlords and real estate speculators. As buildings began to deteriorate, the area was further targeted for new development such as federal housing projects, the City Coliseum that opened in 1970, and the building of additional administrative buildings by the city, state, and VCU. A number of the buildings pictured here have been demolished in the thirty years since these photographs were taken.

The National Park Service has information on Jackson Ward and its architecture. Additional information about present-day Jackson Ward can be found at the site of the Historic Jackson Ward Association.

This collection
VCU Libraries, in cooperation with the City of Richmond, is proud to present this series of photographs documenting Richmond's historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. These photos were taken by John Zehmer as part of a City of Richmond project, and published in 1978 in the book The Jackson Ward Historic District, with text by Robert P. Winthrop, Virginia architect and specialist in the architectural history of Richmond. Items in this collection were digitized in 2007.

The online collection presents the entire book as originally published, page by page. We have also digitized each of the original photographic prints used, scanned from the mock-up boards used in the preparation of the book for printing, from the collection housed at James Branch Cabell Library Special Collections and Archives. Each photograph is presented with the accompanying text from the original book, with additional information about the architectural style and features of the building depicted. Obvious errors (primarily spelling errors) have been corrected. Addresses have been supplied for the photographs on pp. 36-40.

In some cases, the photographs on the boards were different from those used in the book; these instances are noted in the description, designated as "Image Note." If no print was available for a photograph used in the book, the book version was enlarged. Again, this is noted in the description. Many of the photographs were cropped extensively for inclusion in the book; we have scanned the entire image of each print. Also, there are several prints that were not used in the book; these have been scanned and designated as such. The photographs are presented in JPEG 2000 format.

Copyright
This material is in the public domain in the United States and thus is free of any copyright restriction. Acknowledgement of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.

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00 East Clay Street
00 Block East Clay Street, East Clay Street, Clay Street, 37.547246, -77.440305, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.547246,+-77.440305+(00%20East%20Clay%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, The Addolph Dill House is one of the most important dwellings built in the City during the decade of 1830-1840. The exterior of the house is very well-preserved, as is the interior staircase. The house was used as a club by Maggie Walker in the early twentieth century., The 00 Block of East Clay Street forms a buffer against commercial intrusion into the residential portions of Jackson Ward. It contains a number of fine houses with very fine cast iron porches, but its lack of street trees damage the desired residential character., Addolph Dill; Maggie Walker, Clay Street
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1 1/2 West Marshall Street
00 Block West Marshall Street, West Marshall Street, Marshall Street, 37.546761, -77.44154, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.546761,+-77.44154+(1%201/2%20West%20Marshall%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This Italianate house features an exceptional cast iron porch which is complete with its metal cresting. The house has a varied basement but has been painted an inappropriate color., The 00 Block of West Marshall Street - This block has lost all of its residential character as many of the houses have been demolished for parking lots., Marshall Street
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1 - 3 - 5 - 7 East Leigh Street
3 East Leigh Street, 7 East Leigh Street, 5 East Leigh Street, 1 East Leigh Street, 00 Block East Leigh Street, East Leigh Street, Leigh Street, 37.548246, -77.439005, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.548246,+-77.439005+(1%20East%20Leigh%20Street%20,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, A long row of two story Italianate houses, they are relatively little altered, and their cornices and porches are all preserved., The 00 Block of East Leigh Street - This formerly residential block has become partially commercial, and several buildings have been demolished. It contains a major nineteenth century church and school., Leigh Street
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1 - 3 - 5 West Clay Street
3 West Clay Street, 5 West Clay Street, 1 West Clay Street, 00 Block West Clay Street, West Clay Street, Clay Street, 37.547246, -77.440305, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.547246,+-77.440305+(1%20West%20Clay%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, c. 1885-90 - This fine row of late Italianate houses was built in the former formal garden of the Dill House. The wooden porches are very well-preserved and indicate the characteristics of the Eastlake style., The 00 Block of West Clay Street contains the finest collection of stepped gabled Greek Revival houses in the City. It was originally owned by Addolph Dill, a prosperous baker. Dill began the development of this street as a high quality residential area, a character which has largely been maintained., Addolph Dill, Clay Street
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1 - 3 East Marshall Street
3 East Marshall Street, 1 East Marshall Street, 00 Block East Marshall Street, East Marshall Street, Marshall Street, 37.546217, -77.440655, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.546217,+-77.440655+(1%20East%20Marshall%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This fine pre-Civil War double house is a good example of the style. Number 1 retains its original porch and both retain wood picket fences., The 00 Block of West Marshall Street - This block has lost all of its residential character as many of the houses have been demolished for parking lots., Marshall Street
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1 East Clay Street
00 Block East Clay Street, East Clay Street, Clay Street, 37.547246, -77.440305, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.547246,+-77.440305+(,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, Built in the side yard of the Dill House, this mansarded house has lost its porch, and the front has been damaged by a picture window. However, the mansard dormers and galvanized iron trim of the upper level are preserved., The 00 Block of East Clay Street forms a buffer against commercial intrusion into the residential portions of Jackson Ward. It contains a number of fine houses with very fine cast iron porches, but its lack of street trees damage the desired residential character., Clay Street
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1 East DuVal Street
00 Block East DuVal Street, East DuVal Street, DuVal Street, 37.550046, -77.437405, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.550046,+-77.437405+(1%20East%20DuVal%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, A small and simple frame commercial building, the unusual angle of the building is caused by DuVal Street which is built at an angle., Of the streets of Jackson Ward which have been damaged by the construction of the super highway, DuVal Street has been the most damaged. One half of the street was destroyed., Jackson Street and DuVal Street
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1 West DuVal Street
00 Block West DuVal Street, West DuVal Street, DuVal Street, 37.550046, -77.437405, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.550046,+-77.437405+(1%20West%20DuVal%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, An elaborate brick house with stone dressings, this house dates from around 1900. The elaborate Corinthian porch with fluted columns has deteriorated and the columns have been replaced with square wooden piers., Of the streets of Jackson Ward which have been damaged by the construction of the super highway, DuVal Street has been the most damaged. One half of the street was destroyed., Jackson Street and DuVal Street
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1 West Leigh Street
00 Block West Leigh Street, West Leigh Street, Leigh Street, 37.548246, -77.439005, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.548246,+-77.439005+(1%20West%20Leigh%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This small but handsome church was erected in 1870 and was for many years the home of St. Phillips [i.e. Philips] Church. The simple shape and Romanesque forms make it a very simple yet effective church. The steep roof with large dormers were progressive architectural details when the church was built., 00 Block of West Leigh Street - The north side has been altered while the south side is little changed from its original appearance., Leigh Street
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1 West Marshall Street
00 Block West Marshall Street, West Marshall Street, Marshall Street, 37.546761, -77.44154, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.546761,+-77.44154+(1%20West%20Marshall%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This is a good Italianate house of about 1875. The porch and other architectural features are all preserved, as is the cast iron porch., The 00 Block of West Marshall Street - This block has lost all of its residential character as many of the houses have been demolished for parking lots., Marshall Street
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10 - 12 West Marshall Street
12 West Marshall Street, 10 West Marshall Street, 00 Block West Marshall Street, West Marshall Street, Marshall Street, 37.54678, -77.441516, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.54678,+-77.411516+(10%20West%20Marshall%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This Italianate double house has been stripped of its porches and original window sash. Its cornice alone suggests its original character., The 00 Block of West Marshall Street - This block has lost all of its residential character as many of the houses have been demolished for parking lots., Marshall Street
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10 East Clay Street
00 Block East Clay Street, East Clay Street, Clay Street, 37.547196, -77.440222, http://maps.google.com/maps?q=37.547196,+%20-77.440222+(10%20East%20Clay%20Street,%20Richmond,%20VA)&iwloc=A&hl=en, This very fine and well-preserved house has a good cast iron porch. There are floor to ceiling windows on the first level, and cast iron cresting remains on the porch roof., The 00 Block of East Clay Street forms a buffer against commercial intrusion into the residential portions of Jackson Ward. It contains a number of fine houses with very fine cast iron porches, but its lack of street trees damage the desired residential character., Clay Street

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