The Fan District // City of Richmond
The Fan District begins on the western edge of VCU’s Monroe Park Campus at Harrison Street and ends at the Boulevard. It is bounded on the north side by Broad Street and on the south by Cary Street. It takes its name from the way that the streets Fan out as they move to the west. It has been compared on many occasions to Washington DC's Georgetown in terms of Within the City of Richmond, The Fan is considered to be the most pedestrian friendly district with numerous locally owned restaurants, markets, galleries and other neighborhood amenities balanced throughout its grid. Fox Elementary School, located almost in the center of the Fan, serves as the education hub for many of the residents.
The Fan is a dense urban neighborhood built primarily in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Much of the housing there is attached, especially in the eastern sections, with many architectural styles that include Queen Anne, Gothic/Colonial Revival, Tudor, Romanesque, American 4 Square, Second Empire and Italiante.
Many homes in the Fan District have undergone renovations in the past 20 years designed to open the rear living spaces and create kitchen/great room/outdoor relationships that reflect a more modern lifestyle. The exterior of the homes remain largely unchanged as the Fan District is on the National Register of Historic Places and thus elevations are protected.
While Monument Avenue is technically located within the Fan District, it is usually considered separate from the Fan in that its scale and architecture is radically different from the other streets in the Fan. West Avenue, a small three block stretch in the eastern Fan also acts much like a ‘neighborhood within a neighborhood’ with its own identity separate from Hanover, Stuart, Grove, Park and Floyd.