Richmond, for reasons that I'm not exactly sure, has quite an inventory of beautiful commercial buildings downtown. Was it that, for many years, the city was so forgotten in time that no one cared enough to tear stuff down for urban renewal? Or was it is that Gilded Age architecture was so massive and extravagant that people couldn't bear to wreck it and it would cost too much anyway?
Living downtown, I'm reminded of childhood trips there around Christmas to Thalhimers, Miller & Rhodes, Berry Burke and others for presents or to visit Richmond DOR poo-bah Aunt Sarah. For years, these blocks were a blight but now, one by one, they appear to be coming back. Some of the monumental bank facades now house condos and apartments now while Miller & Rhodes is a Hilton. Old stores and restaurants are gradually being occupied by new restaurants but I must admit that retail (ironically) has lagged in this old commercial district. A grocery store or Target would come in very handy and there are some lovely buildings that could house them!