A portion of Main Street is the Mall (1972–1975, Lawrence Halprin), a concept which has proven successful in Charlottesville, in spite of problems with it elsewhere. The large department stores have departed for the greener pastures of suburban malls and shopping centers, but smaller stores have survived and prospered. Halprin worked in cooperation with local officials. Most of the older buildings lining Main Street are appropriate background structures and have extensively remodeled ground floors.
Water Street, which parallels Main Street to the south, was the more industrial side of town and contains a series of large mid- and late-nineteenth-century warehouses. The 200 and 300 blocks are taken up by an impressive parking garage (1991, VMDO Architects).
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