Lynchburg's major residential neighborhood, extending northwest of downtown, is reached from downtown via Rivermont Bridge, which crosses Blackwater Creek just beyond Main Street. A local engineer, Major Edward S. Hutter, is credited with platting Rivermont in 1890 as a streetcar suburb for local investors. Rivermont soon began to eclipse the older hill neighborhoods as a favored residential venue. During the prosperous 1920s, houses and churches embodying the many revival styles popular in American architecture were built along tree-lined Rivermont Avenue and on streets leading from it. Unfortunately, the older portions closest to downtown witnessed an inordinate degree of urban blight at the close of the twentieth century. It is hoped that designation of the area as a historic district in 2002 will help turn the tide of decay. Rivermont Avenue leads from downtown in generous sweeps, and once it has climbed to the plateau above the valleys of Blackwater Creek and the James River continues on a remarkably level course. With many extensions to the northwest and west, Rivermont remains Lynchburg's major residential neighborhood.
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