Richmond is full of different architectural styles. Quite often you’ll find a historical building directly next to a brand new building, or in the case of Main Street Station you’ll notice that the highway has actually been built around the building! According to www.richmondgov.com, the building was originally built in 1901, and was for the next 74 years a “bustling transportation hub.” However, due to a decrease in passenger rail service, it was closed in 1975. The building remained closed for the next 28 years, and was re-opened in 2003 after years of renovation, and now has limited train service to downtown Richmond.
This building is probably my favorite one in the whole city. The brickwork is exquisite, and the interior is beautiful as well. The main lobby has great tile work all around, and the lighting fixtures that hang from the ceiling are pretty awesome. Upstairs is where you’d go to wait for your train, and if you wanted to have a wander the main ballroom area upstairs is a good place for it. There are cases full of historical trinkets, and the view off the balcony is great too! This area is also commonly rented out for weddings and receptions, which I’ve worked actually, thanks to my friends at “Incredible Edibles.” It’s a very unique place to have a wedding!
Being able to walk around downtown in Shockoe Bottom and hear the trains coming and going is pretty amazing, considering the bridge they travel across goes directly over the street, and cuts under the highway (I-95) and the downtown expressway (I-195). This tangle of bridges is quite a spectacle! Come downtown and mosey about under the tracks, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants nearby, walk through the Farmer’s Market (if you’re down on a day that it’s open), get some coffee at Café Gutenberg, or something a little bit harder at one of the local bars within eyesight of the station!