Storefront's urban design walk downtown was a success (see the photos HERE), thanks to Mark Olinger and Tyler Potterfield's insights on Richmond's historic development and existing fabric. We checked out new shops on Brook Road, Belgian-brick lined alleys being used in a fashion photo shoot, and took a moment to pause at one special live oak tree at North Adams Street. The walk took the group east on Grace Street, where Mr. Potterfield pointed out the "cacophonous" architectural quality of storefronts in the 300 block.
Walking in a direction counter to traffic, Mr. Olinger pointed out the dramatic view in the direction of George Washington's statue. The axis is a missed urban design opportunity, as East Grace Street runs west from Capital Square. Mr. Olinger pointed out Richmond's Downtown Masterplan includes one-way street conversion in its long-term goals, but one coffee shop owner on the tour who's opening a business on North 8th Street expressed that such a change is more immediately needed to support businesses like hers (check out aproposroasters.com!). Storefront is planning a second urban design tour this winter, a holiday walk to focus on entrepreneurs who do business downtown. Stay posted!