Indiana, between North and South A, and 3rd to 10th Streets.
For a printed copy of
brochure, please contact:
brochure produced by Center City Development Corporation.
Morrisson-Reeves Library Staff:
was made possible by a grant from the Richmond Urban Enterprise
EDC of Wayne Co.
First Bank Richmond
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Historic Architecture Downtown Richmond:
A Walking Tour
In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed the bill that established
the National Road (America’s Main Street). It would cross seven
states and create a corridor for settlers moving west. By 1827, the
National Road had reached Richmond, Indiana. When Richmond was
settled in 1805 by Quakers from North Carolina, the commercial trade
was largely concentrated on Front Street (now South 4th St.), facing
the Whitewater River. The National Road quickly became Richmond’s
new Main Street. Retailers relocated their businesses to greet
settlers moving west.
buildings on Main Street were largely simple, two-story structures of
Federal or Greek Revival styles, similar to those that can be seen today
in nearby Centerville, Indiana. These soon gave way to a more popular
style of the taller Italianate architecture, in vogue during the 1850s
to 1890s, such as the first Knollenberg’s building built in 1877. The
influence of the Queen Anne style, more common in residential
architecture, can be seen in the eastern half of Knollenberg’s built ten
years later in 1888. Both buildings were designed by the Richmond
Architect, John A. Hasecoster.
Richmond grew, having become a railroad center and the county seat of
Wayne County, new commercial and public buildings such as the Courthouse
were built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. After the
turn-of-the-century, new architectural styles prevailed, and buildings
such as Star Bank (then Dickinson Trust Co.) and Hoppe Jewelers (Tivoli
Theater) exhibited a Neo-Classical or Beaux Arts influence. Later
architectural trends can be seen in the Art Deco building that S.S.
Kresge Co. built at 801 East Main Street.
April 6, 1968 was a tragic day for Richmond, Indiana. A double explosion
occurred at 1:47 P.M. EST in downtown Richmond, killing 41 people and
injuring more than 150. The first explosion was due to a natural Gas
leak from faulty transmission lines under the Marting Arms sporting
goods store, located at 6th and Main Streets. A secondary explosion was
caused by barrels of gunpowder stored in the basement of the building.
Twenty buildings in and around the site were condemned as a direct
result of the explosions.
The award-winning design for rebuilding the downtown closed off five
blocks of Main Street and became the Promenade. This was a popular trend
of modernizing that was influenced by the walking mall and shopping
center designs. Another part of competing with emerging shopping centers
had merchants ―updating their storefronts with metal or glass panels
over the front of the buildings that masked the historic architecture.
Today, this trend has largely been reversed. The Promenade was removed
in the mid—1990s and Main Street was returned to through traffic. People
look at the outstanding collection of historic architecture in Richmond
as a resource.
As you walk down Richmond’s Main Street, look up and see the evidence of
this community’s rich history as it is displayed in the architecture of
its Main Street. Now nominated for the National Register of Historic
Places, the architectural richness has been nationally recognized.
Start at the Wayne County Courthouse
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930
Roman & Greek Revival_1810 ________ 1860
Gothic Revival_1820____________________ 1880
Romanesque Revival 1870 1900
Queen Anne 1880 1910
Beaux Arts_ 1885 1920
Neoclassical Style 1895 1950
Art Deco 1920 1940
International Style 1925 present
This is the web-based incarnation of a brochure originally published in
2010. While the history is still
very valuable, other information may no longer be accurate.
Information updated by WayNet will be listed in this maroon color.
**COPYRIGHT NOTICE** for
Walking Tour Information: Published in March 2010
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this
article is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who
have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for
non-profit research and educational or criticism purposes only.