Richmond’s Fan District designated as one of 10 great neighborhoods
The American Planning Association in Washington, D.C., said Wednesday that The Fan District in Richmond has been selected as one of 10 great neighborhoods for 2014.
The association cited the Fan’s history, large collections of intact Victorian homes and pedestrian-friendly environment as reasons why the neighborhood won the designation.
Each October during National Community Planning Month, APA’s Great Places in America program names 30 exemplary streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that add value to communities and foster economic growth and jobs.
APA’s selections focus on authentic characteristics that have evolved from years of thoughtful and deliberate planning by residents, community leaders and planners.
“Recognizing these special places highlights the role planning plays in adding value to communities,” William Anderson, president of APA, said in a statement.
The group looks for places that represent what it considers the gold standard in terms of having a sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.
Since Great Places in America was launched in 2007, APA has designated 230 neighborhoods, streets and public spaces.
The Fan District, adjacent to downtown Richmond, gets its name from the way some streets physically fan westward from Monroe Park to the Boulevard..
The APA cited its variety of architectural styles including Italianate, Richardson Romanesque, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, the Bungalow, American Foursquare, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial and Art Deco.
The Fan began developing in the late 19th century. According to the APA, construction began on a streetcar line connecting the neighborhood to downtown Richmond. By 1930, the Fan had been transformed into the neighborhood seen today.
The APA also noted the Fan District Association’s role in organizing regular events with community participation including a holiday house tour, Historic Garden Week and a winter carnival.
In addition to The Fan, here are the nine other great neighborhoods for 2014: Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C.; Arbor Hill in Albany, N.Y.; Central West End in St. Louis, Miss.; Fields Corner in Dorchester, Mass.; Fremont in Seattle, Wash.; Greater Belhaven in Jackson, Miss.; La Alma/Lincoln Park in Denver, Colo.; Uptown in Oakland, Calif.; and the Victorian District in Savannah, Ga.