Southside Richmond Landmarks and Neighborhoods

Richmond Southside is packed full of history and diverse neighborhoods.  You’ll find architeture ranging from bungalow-style homes to Victorian mansions and just about everything in between.

Bon Air

Located in Chesterfield County but near the Richmond City line, Bon Air was originally developed as a resort community.  The name means “good air” and was a place where Richmonders of the late 19th century went to get away from the industrial air of downtown Richmond.  Bon Air is designated as a National Historic District.  Many of the structures date to the Victorian era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The area grew to a middle class neighborhood in the mid-20th century.

Boulevard Bridge

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Completed in 1925, Boulevard Bridge connects the Westover Hills neighborhood of South Richmond to the north side at Byrd Park.  Locals know the Bridge as the “Nickel Bridge” because of the cost of the original toll. While the toll has increased, the nickname remains.  The bridge was renovated in 1992 with improved access for pedestrians and bicycles.

Forest Hill

Forest Hill is the area surrounding Forest Hill Park which is also known as Holden Rhodes House and Boscobel.  The Park had several private owners and is now owned by the City of Richmond.  It was once the site of an amusement park with boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter.  The amusement park closed after the Great Depression. Forest Hill Park is on both the National and Virginia Registers of Historic Places.  The area surrounding the Park is now known as the Forest Hill Historic Districts.

Huguenot Memorial Bridge

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Huguenot Memorial Bridge connects Richmond on the south of the James River with Henrico County to the north.  Completed in 1950 the bridge was named to honor the French Huguenot settlers who came to this area of Virginia in the 18th century.

Manchester

Originally an independent city, Manchester was consolidated into the City of Richmond in 1910.  Manchester is a former port city and was active in the slave trade as well as shipping tobacco and coal.  “Old Manchester” refers now to the neighborhood on the south side of the James River.  The American school for the deaf and dumb was founded in Manchester in 1818 in the old Masonic Hall.  A group of free blacks began a church in a home in 1821 and later constructed the Slab Church.  Neither the Masonic Hall nor the Slab Church is still standing.  The oldest house in Manchester is the Archibald Freeland House on Bainbridge Avenue which was built in 1771.  The John B. Anderson House and the Meade Memorial Episcopal Church were built in the early days of Reconstruction.

Manchester Bridge

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Manchester Bridge connects the City of Richmond with the area of Manchester based on an agreement in the 1910 consolidation that there must always be a free pedestrian bridge linking the two former cities.  The Bridge replaced the old Ninth Street Bridge which was submerged during flooding during Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

Mayo Bridge

The current structure of the Mayo Bridge, also known as the 14th Street Bridge connects Hull Street in Manchester with 14th Street north of the James.  It exists on the site of the first bridge built in the City by John Mayo Jr.  The original bridge was washed out several times and was burned by Confederate soldiers fleeing the City near the end of the Civil War.

Robert E.  Lee Memorial Bridge

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The Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge was initially built as the James River Bridge in 1933. It was later renamed the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge.  A replacement structure was built in the 1980s.  A unique feature of the bridge is a pedestrian walkway under the bridge connecting to Belle Isle, the site of a former granite quarry and hydroelectric plan and used as a prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War.

Stony Point

Stony Point is a higher income section of Southside Richmond, and home to the Stony Point Fashion Park, an upscale outdoor center. Unique to the area, Stony Point is dog-friendly and offers comfort stations for pets throughout the plaza storefront area.

Swansboro

Originally part of Manchester, Swansboro is one of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods.  Homes are built in the Bungalow cottage style popular in the early part of the 20th century.

Westover Hills

Westover Hills was named for the home of Richmond’s Founder, William Byrd and his Westover Plantation located on the lower James.  Homes in this area include the architectural styles of Brick Colonial, Tudor Revival, Cape Cod and Spanish Revival.  The area is one of Richmond’s most established neighborhoods and is accessed directly from the north side of the River via the Boulevard Bridge, known by longtime Richmonders as the “Nickel Bridge” for the cost of the original toll.

Woodland Heights

Woodland Heights began in the early 1900s as a trolley car neighborhood next to Forest Hill Park.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Registry.  It is the oldest of three neighborhoods along with Westover Hills and Forest Hill.