Today I found myself at the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library. Even now, I sit at a worktable among the books, staring past the potted plants on the sill of the massive library windows and out into the city. It is a good library for my research; the unique Richmond History Collection is worth the 10 minute bike ride through the trademark, swampy Virginian summer day.
My summer research will be centered around the evolution and history of architecture Fan District of Richmond, Virginia. The Fan is a neighborhood in Richmond that has been growing and changing for more than a century. So named for the way its streets branch away from each other like a fan, the district is marked by nearly every major style of architecture popularized in America in the 19th and 20th centuries. I will be researching the history of this area -its origins, major events, changing atmosphere -as well as the distinguishing characteristics of the major architectural styles present in the Fan. I aim to discover how the changing times affected the style and aesthetic of the houses built in different eras of the neighborhood’s history by producing original drawings of various houses.