Located along the south banks of the James, Westover Hills is flanked by Stratford Hills to the West and Forest Hill to the East. Most of the land the neighborhood sits on was once owned by William Byrd II who owned a plantation nearby called Westover. Planners were likely making reference to Byrd and the plantation when the plans were drafted in 1924. Westover Hills is another great example of an older Richmond neighborhood conceived in the 1920s that has weathered many changes over the years, but emerged a charming and popular destination.
Construction began in earnest when the Boulevard Bridge was completed in 1925. The bridge provided access to the neighborhood from Byrd Park on the North side of the river which made it much more attractive to home buyers. That said, most houses in the neighborhood were built between 1925 and the 1960s, with architectural styles including Colonial, Arts and Crafts, Tudor, and Spanish Revival. Most homes range from three to four bedrooms with some larger homes along Riverside Drive. In recent years, homeowners have also invested in significant renovations and additions that have added more modern materials and details. New construction has also introduced several Modern style homes to the neighborhood.
Part of the neighborhood’s charm lies in its design. Many of the streets are narrow and one way only. Though this led to a relatively dense neighborhood, it has also limited the amount of through traffic and associated noise. Very mature landscapes and tons of old growth trees dating back to the turn of the century further insulate the area from the sounds typically found in urban areas.
Today, the Boulevard Bridge is more commonly known as the Nickel Bridge and provides quick access across the river to Carytown, the Fan, and the Museum District. Residents enjoy convenient access to many nearby outdoor destinations including river access points, hiking and biking trails, Byrd Park, Maymont, and Forest Hill Park. In fact , the South of the James Farmers Market in Forest Hill Park has become a major draw for residents from all over the City and surrounding counties. The renewed investment in commercial properties along Forest Hill Avenue has also contributed to it becoming a much more walkable neighborhood in recent years.
A few more reasons to explore the neighborhood:
South of the James Farmer’s Market – Get in line and get yourself a Mrs. Yoder’s donut. You will not be disappointed. Oh, maybe pick up some locally grown veggies while you are there.
O’Toole’s Restaurant & Pub – Pop in for a pint, stay for a classic Irish meal.
Maldini’s Ristorante Italiano – The name says it all…
Little Nickel – Tiki themed goodness. Make a reservation.
Cafe Zata – Great coffee, sandwiches and atmosphere.
Kitchenette – Pick up some tasty deli style comfort food and take it home or have yourself a picnic at Forest Hill Park.