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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name Main Street Banking Historic District (Boundary Increase)
Reference Number 13000644
State Virginia
County Richmond
Town Richmond
Street Address 700. 801, 830-838 Main Street. East; 703 Main Street. East/7 tth Street, South; 705-711 Main Street, East/28 6th Street, South
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 8/27/2013
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE, COMMERCE, ECONOMICS, LAW
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000644.pdf
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The Main Street Banking Historic District Nomination Update and Boundary Increase, 2013, incorporates five additional buildings and extends the period of significance for the district to 1965. The expansion is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under the same Criteria as described in the original 2005 Nomination as an extension and continuation of the themes and characteristics that make the district significant. It is eligible under Criterion A in the areas of Commerce, Economics, and Law for its association with Richmond as the financial center for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the continued presence of some of the region's most powerful banks, brokerage companies, and law firms within the historic district. Of paramount significance for the expanded district is the passage of the pivotal Buck-Holland Banking Bill in 1962 that led to monumental changes in the way Virginia banks could operate, resulting in a dramatic growth in the size of banks through mergers and branch expansions, and the ability to make large king-size loans available for commercial development. The increased need by banks for expanded office space and the ability for developers to acquire larger commercial loans was directly responsible for the construction of three of the buildings in the expanded historic district. The period of significance is being extended to 1965 to reflect the completion of these buildings that were initiated as a result of the bill; however, future studies may show that results of the bill were much longer lasting and additional later buildings in the area may be related and warrant inclusion as well. Although 1965 is technically past the typical fifty-year cutoff for NRHP eligibility, the impetus for the construction of the buildings was the passage of the 1962 Buck-Holland Bill and the three contributing buildings constructed after this date were all initiated soon after and simply not completed until 1964-1965 due to their size and the effort required to build three high-rises in a two block area. The expanded historic district also incorporates the theme of law to the district, as it was the home of two of the largest law firms in the nation during the expanded period of significance, although these and assorted other law firms had been located within the original district since the early twentieth century. Under Criterion C, the expanded historic district is representative of some of the earliest use of International Style architecture in the city, particularly in high-rise form, and illustrates the establishment of the International Style as the accepted architectural idiom for corporate Richmond. Further, all but one of the buildings were designed by local and nationally recognized architects in a manner to complement the older and more traditional architecture already existing throughout the district.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria