Charlottesville’s West Main Street Historic District straddles a primary historic route between the city’s downtown and the University of Virginia. With a collection of historically-contributing buildings constructed between 1820 and 1970, the West Main Street Historic District illustrates the growth of commercial, residential, and travel-related structures like boarding houses and hotels, as well as those associated with mixed-use retail and service activities. The West Main Street travel corridor—which evolved through the eras of carriage, rail line, trolley, and automobile—offered small-scale retail services to the city’s African American and white residents, with activity dating to the 19th century. Home to three large African American churches, the district is adjacent to several historic black neighborhoods. Over the decades, the commercial and social activities of Charlottesville’s black community have ebbed and flowed along the West Main Street corridor.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark