Saturday, July 31, 2010


The Chamberlayne Avenue Initiative is busy working on ideas to make our thoroughfare more attractive and inviting as a gateway into Richmond. This blog wants to showcase the homes along this Ginter Park avenue; many are long gone, victims of contemporary tastes and white flight. Many do survive and some are being restored.

(For history on the Ginter Park neighborhood and Chamberlayne Avenue as a designated US Route 1 highway, see

Below is a series of postcards that were published for the various tourist homes that lined Chamberlayne during the 1930's and 40's. During the Depression, some homeowners turned their houses into guest lodges, catering to the travelers along US Route 1.

Ironically, the first postcard is of the Richmond Motel, 2600 Chamberlayne Avenue, an establishment that most likely put the tourist homes out of business. The description on the back reads "Richmond Motel In the Heart of Town, 2600 Chamberlayne Avenue - ELgin 3-9647, On U.S> Route 1 and 301, Richmond 22, Virginia, 70 Modern Rooms, Tiled Baths, TV and Air Conditioning Optional. Restaurants Nearby. Easy Access to Business and Shopping Districts. Mr. and Mrs. D.D. Burton, Owners-Managers."

Obviously this motel, which still stands, does not have 70 rooms. The only conclusion is that they included their second location, at the corner of Lombardy and Brook Road, in this count. However on this card, the Lombardy location is marked out; possibly the Burtons sold this by the time the card was published.

The first three houses are located south of Brookland Park Boulevard, and all are still standing, although alterations have been made to them.

2912 Chamberlayne Avenue. The back of the postcard reads: "'The Sign of a Good Night's Rest', 2912 Chamberlayne Ave. Richmond, VA (Just 4 minutes from Business section). Rooms bright, well ventilated with outside exposure. Beds equipped with luxurious innerspring mattresses. Hot and cold baths - tubs and showers. Ample parking space. Rates reasonable. Telephone, wire or write for reservations. Mrs. M.D. Pleasants, Telephone 4-3297, On U.S. Route 1."

"THE HAVEN, Guests, Mrs. George Deierhoi, Hostess, 2916 Chamberlayne Ave., U.S. No. 1 and 2, Phone 5-8546, Richmond, Va."

The Mulberry
2918 Chamberlayne Avenue

Park View Manor, 3201 Chamberlayne Avenue. Wonder what a "club breakfast" is?

3206 Chamberlayne Avenue, the oldest house in Ginter Park, still stands with its entrance on Seminary Avenue. The message on the back states the writer ate here while in Richmond in 1935; she was traveling north from Florida, to Charleston, Richmond and Washington, DC. Note the long hours the tea room was open. This house was known by many names: Jessie Williams House; Armstrong House; Rennie-Williams House and Spring Grange.

"'TARRY-Ho', 3403 Chamberlayne Avenue, Richmond, Virginia, Mrs. Cleland B. Welton, hostess.

"When in Historic Richmond stop at 'GREEN SHUTTERS' Guest House, 3409 Chamberlayne Ave.  Richmond, Virginia, On U.S. Highway No. 1 and 2.  North side of City.  Mrs. Kenneth O.Reid, Phone 5-6343


  1. Very cool to see these pictures of grand homes on Chamberlayne Avenue from another era. Thanks for posting them.

    Jonathan M. Murdoch-Kitt

  2. Thank you so much for posting. My grandparents owned the TARRY-Ho at one time and I will always remember it as a magnificent place. They rented apartments in the home and the people that lived there all remained good friends of the family for decades.

  3. Anonymous, how cool! My grandparents owned The Virginian, a tourist home on Chamberlayne Avenue! My son attends VCU, so I think of my grandparents (who have passed away) every time my husband and I drive him to school and back. I visited there as a child and it always brings back good memories. I'd be interested in how your parents felt about growing up in a tourist home. My mom didn't like that she could never had friends over and she had to always be quiet. She used to have to keep her ear very close to the radio, because she had to turn it down so low so she wouldn't disturb the guests. I think there were some things she liked about growing up in a tourist home, but she found this to be annoying. I imagine, like my grandparents, your grandparents began renting out rooms to help survive during a very difficult economic time. Actually, they moved from another house to buy The Virginian to help supplement my grandfather's income as a mechanic.

  4. One wonders how the destruction of this grand boulevard could be allowed to happen......not much left and city doesn't help.