30 things about Richmond that you didn't already know

30 facts about one of the South's most historically walkable cities: Richmond, Virginia

11. The Fan district is named so because of the “fan” shape of the array of streets extending through it. Strongly influenced by the late-19th century City Beautiful movement, The Fan is known for its tree lined streets and monuments to Virginian Confederate participants of the American Civil War.

  1. Originally built in 1901, the Richmond Main Street Station will become an intermodal hub featuring Greater Richmond Transit Company’s (GRTC) Pulse bus rapid transit line in 2018.

  2. When complete, the GRTC Pulse BRT system will be the first rapid mass transit service to serve Richmond since 1949. Unlike many recently implemented American BRT systems, The Pulse will include dedicated bus lanes in the center of Broad Street.

  3. Dating back to 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is designated as “R1: Doctoral University - Highest Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. VCU servers more than 31,000 students pursuing 226 degree and certificate programs.

  4. Richmond’s population peaked with 249,621 residents in 1970. By 2000, the city had declined to 197,790 residents. A 21st century rebirth has increased the city’s estimated 2015 population to 220,289.

  5. Completed in 2002, the 700,000-square-foot Greater Richmond Convention Center sits on five and a half city blocks and includes a 30,550-square-foot Grand Ballroom and 178,159 square feet of exhibit space.

  6. The commercial epicenter of Richmond, Broad Street was once home to the city’s “theater row” and department stores such as Miller & Rhoads, Thalhimers, G.C. Murphy, Woolworth, Rayless, Sears, Cohen’s and W.T. Grant. The trains of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) once ran down the center of the street. The RF&P is now a subdivision of CSX Transportation.

  7. Miller & Rhoads was a Richmond-based department store chain founded in 1885. It’s flagship location on Broad Street was known for its “SantaLand” upstairs attraction. The chain was sold to Hecht’s in 1990. The former Broad Street store is now a hotel and condominium complex.

  8. Richmond’s Sixth Street Marketplace opened with great fanfare in 1985. Featuring an iconic pedestrian bridge spanning Broad Street, the urban mall connected the downtown’s flagship department stores, Miller & Rhodes and Thalhimer’s. Sixth Street Marketplace’s success would be short lived after the closure of its anchor stores. The shopping center has since been torn down and replaced with a public street.

  9. I-95 through downtown Richmond was once a part of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike. Stretching 35 miles from just north of Richmond to just south of Petersburg, tolls were collected from 1955 to 1992.