Carver, nestled near the heart of Richmond and adjacent to VCU, stands as another historically significant neighborhood with both Industrial and Residential Historic Districts. Covering approximately 54 square blocks, its boundaries stretch from Lombardy Street to the northwest, Belvidere Street to the southeast, Interstate 95 to the northeast, and Broad Street to the southwest.
The origins of Carver trace back to the early 1800s when John Buchanan began dividing his 500-acre estate into smaller parcels for sale. By the mid-19th century, Richmond’s working-class population, including tradesmen, merchants, and skilled laborers, began constructing homes for their families in the area. The initial homes were predominantly attached brick rowhouses, some with storefronts, designed in the Italianate style. Soon after, examples of the Greek Revival and Queen Anne styles also emerged. As time went on, additional rowhouses, detached homes, and larger buildings joined the architectural landscape, shaping the neighborhood’s distinctive character.
The industrial district in Carver developed on the western side of the neighborhood between 1890 and 1930. These industrial structures featured a diverse range of architectural styles, including Art Deco, Colonial Revival, Gothic Revival, Italian Renaissance, Queen Anne, Romanesque, and Second Empire. Notably, the Eagle Brewery, which later became the Richbrau Brewery and remains in operation today, was a prominent industrial structure. The original brewery sourced its water from the nearby Buchanan’s Spring.
In recent years, Carver has been significantly influenced by its close proximity to VCU and the university community. The Stuart C. Siegel Center, opened in 1999, played a pivotal role as a catalyst for change in the neighborhood. VCU’s remarkable growth, coupled with national recognition brought about by the basketball team’s NCAA tournament appearances, has continued to attract investment to the area. Local and national retailers such as Starbucks, Kroger, Dunkin’ Donuts, and others have taken up residence in formerly overlooked commercial spaces along Broad Street. Most notably, Whole Foods has made a substantial investment in adapting another existing structure located just a few blocks from Carver. Several developers have also undertaken the conversion of several of the neighborhood’s larger historic industrial buildings into condominiums, preserving the area’s historic charm while offering modern living spaces.
Things to do:
Stuart C. Siegel Center – Take any opportunity you get to go see a legit NCAA basketball game in a small but great venue.
Edo’s Squid – Just Broad on Harrison Street, this locally-owned italian restaurant is must visit on your culinary to-do list.
First Fridays Art Walk – Mark the first Friday of every month on your to visit what has become a Richmond institution.
Sugar Shack Donuts – It may not qualify as your healthiest option in Carver but it is well worth a visit on your cheat day.
Phone: +1 804.397.5078
Multiple-time Distinguished Achiever award winner, 2017 Richmond’s Finest Business Professional and a VIrginia Living Magazine Top 50 Realtor. Architecture lover, outdoor enthusiast and a true fan of all things RVA.