Mid-Century Broad Street

Black and white photograph of Broad Street in the evening; image taken from the Medical College of Virginia looking west; the Thalhimers Department Store building is illuminated with Christmas lights.

It turns out that mid-century Broad Street is much like Broad Street in any other time.  Broad Street was the center for commercialism in Richmond and continues to be today.  Much construction took place on Broad Street around the turn of the century that continued into the 20th century, which is not apparent in this photograph.  Because Broad Street attracted so many people because of its shops, it always had to look the part.  In the winter, as seen in this picture taken in December 1964, Broad Street, as well as other busy streets, had an adornment of lights to celebrate the season.  This show of holiday spirit illustrates the fact that Richmonders took pride how the city appeared.  It also shows that they celebrated the holidays with relish.  The street looks welcoming and busy- a testament to the city as they could make one of the busiest streets look pretty, clean, and friendly even during the most hectic times.  Broad Street drew in many people for its shops and entertainment, so even at night the street would be bustling.

Tabitha Yewer

Image Courtesy of the Valentine Richmond History Center

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