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Ginter Park and Virginia Union University

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Ginter Park, bounded by Brook Road on the west, Moss Side Avenue on the east, North and Bellevue avenues on the north, and Brookland Park Boulevard on the south, is a turn-of-thetwentieth-century suburb that briefly became a separate town before it was annexed to Richmond in 1914. From before the Revolutionary War, Brook Road, a toll road, had served as the major link between Richmond and points north. During the Civil War the city's Confederate inner defenses crossed Brook Road at what is now Confederate Avenue, and its outer defenses crossed at a point just north of today's Azalea Avenue. By the late nineteenth century a number of Richmond's most prominent residents had established country estates along Brook Road. In 1893 Lewis Ginter and his associate, Joseph Bryan, began to acquire hundreds of acres in the area, creating the suburb of Ginter Park.

The streets of Ginter Park were paved with stone quarried from what is now Bryan Park. The first houses built were in the 3600 block of Hawthorne Avenue, the 1100 block of Westwood Avenue, and the 3400 block of Noble Avenue. Built for the families and the workmen who would construct the development's larger homes, these frame houses bear similarities to those published in period architectural pattern books. Bryan's children developed his estate, Laburnum, along Hermitage Road (an extension of the Boulevard) on the west to Brook Road on the east, and from Westwood Avenue on the south to Laburnum Avenue on the north.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Richard Guy Wilson et al.

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