Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
Block 00-100 East Franklin Street Historic District

East Franklin

East Franklin Street
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development


Franklin Street from Capitol Square to Monument Avenue was historically a street of fashionable residences in the 19th century and the opening decades of the 20th century.  Laid out in 1780, the portion of Franklin Street that is in the Block 00-100 East Franklin Street Historic District was a part of the expansion of Richmond when it became the Virginia capital.  The area remained largely undeveloped until the late antebellum period, but what remains from that period is an interesting collection of mid to late-19th century residential buildings.

The oldest building in the district is the William C. Allen Double House at 4-6 East Main Street, an outstanding example of an antebellum Greek Revival style double house.  In the early 20th century, the Historic Richmond Foundation extensively altered the building, which is now restored to its original appearance.  Boston architect Isaiah Rogers designed the Kent-Valentine House of 1845 at 12 East Franklin Street as a large urban villa.  A portico and additions in 1904 significantly altered its appearance from a Picturesque to a Classical Revival building.  

Most of the homes date from after the Civil War.  The dwellings on Main and Grace Streets are attached row houses.  Those on Franklin Street are detached town houses. Stylistically, the Italianate became predominant in the decades after the Civil War.  An outstanding example of this style is the Bosher Mansion at 2 East Franklin Street.  This 1886 building is an ornate version of the style at the height of its popularity.

Second baptist Church

Second Baptist Church
City of Richmond Department of Community Development

The close of the 19th century saw construction of several row houses and town houses in a composite of the Queen Anne and Romanesque styles.  The best is at 7 West Franklin Street.  This house is of rusticated stone and brick with a noteworthy rusticated porch and massive corner tower.

The 00 to 100 block of West Franklin Street is an important surviving residential cluster of the Franklin Street corridor.  The buildings in the district are good examples of 19th-century urban house types: row houses, town houses, and an urban villa. 

Plan your visit

The Block 00-100 East Franklin Street Historic District is roughly bounded by 1st,  Main, Foushee, and Grace Sts.  It is located in the center of downtown Richmond between the Jefferson Hotel and Linden Row. Private homes generally are not open to the public. The Kent Valentine House at 12 E. Franklin St. is the headquarters of The Garden Club of Virginia, which rents it for business meetings or special gatherings.  For information, visit the The Garden Club of Virginia website. A number of buildings in the district have been documented by the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey.

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