Thursday, August 9: The Fan is a district of Richmond, Virginia, so named because of the “fan” shape of the array of streets that extend west from Belvidere Street, on the eastern edge of Monroe Park, westward to the Boulevard. (Streets resemble a grid after moving through what is now Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU).
This lovely residential neighborhood consists of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century homes. It has beautiful tree-lined avenues, historical monuments and row houses built in Victorian, Edwardian and Revival architectural styles. Many houses are also built in the American Craftsman style. Many of the houses are painted in cheery colors with surprisingly delightful doors.
The housing area was mostly developed from after the Civil War through about 1920. During the Great Depression, many of the single-family homes in the area were converted to apartments. Today many of those apartments are home to students attending VCU. The Fan borders and blends with the Boulevard, the Museum District, and the Carytown district.
This morning I take a walk around my daughter’s neighborhood on Hanover Street, not far from VCU, and then drive to Carytown, a commercial district filled with eclectic restaurants, Persian carpet and furniture dealers, and funky second-hand shops, where I walk along the street taking pictures and dipping into shops for a breath of cool air.
Finally, I make a stop at Sarah’s place of employment, Joe’s Inn (Joe’s Inn), on Shields Avenue, in the heart of The Fan. Sadly the history page of the Joe’s website hasn’t been completed yet; needless to say, this is a long-time establishment on the Richmond food scene. The storefront says it was established in 1952, so it’s older than I am! 🙂
Factual information about The Fan is from Wikipedia: Wikipedia: The Fan District.