A Mid-20th Century Carytown Depression
If you do enough research on Richmond’s past, and you’ll find that each neighborhood in this great city has had its growing pains. Carytown is no different; after the economic boost brought on by the construction of the Cary Court Park & Shop Center in 1938, the neighborhood had its own rough patch.
The reason? The then-new concept of the Park & Shop Center was almost too good for Carytown. The people of Richmond decided that if some was good, then more would be better, and in 1956, the Willow Lawn Shopping Center opened. This was bad news for businesses on Cary St. because Willow Lawn offered more space for stores, more parking, and easier access. Soon, all the consumers that had flocked to Cary St. were gone. Businesses closed, the street became quieter, and petty crime became a problem.
Of course, today Carytown is the grand “Mile of Style” – a place where boutique shops, cafe’s, and restaurants line both sides of the street, and both vehicle- and foot-traffic are at all time highs. So how did the neighborhood turn things around? Read about all that right here!
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