Old Richmond Historic District, "German Village"



The Old Richmond Historic District covers more than 250 acres. It is bounded on the North by the center line of south A Street, on the West by the East line of the former CSX Railroad, on the East by the alley East of South 10th Street, and the South by the alley below South E Street. This area was first settled by John Smith, who established a trading post located at the present corner of South 4th and Main Streets.

South 4th Street was Richmond’s first street, originally named Front Street. This street was first a country road and was Richmond’s main street until the coming of the National Road. Richmond’s first public square was located on the site of the former FIND Center, the first park is the South 10th Street Park, and the park at South 7th Street was the city’s public cemetery.

This area contains most of the original plat of Richmond laid out in 1816 and its early additions. The district consists of relatively dense clusters of late Federal and Greek Revival cottages and townhouses, interspersed with Victorian and early 20th Century homes and by churches The district contains more than 213 structure of historical importance.

The neighborhood was first settled by members of the Society of Friends, later by free African-Americans, and German immigrants. The principal social and cultural centers are; Bethel A.M.E. Church, St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, First Christian Church, The Knights of St. John fraternal organization and the former Y.M.I. The district was enrolled on the national Register in 1974. The Historic American Buildings Survey catalogued significant structure in the district, including Bethel A.M.E. Church and several homes.