South Chappell Street Car Barn

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The sole surviving building of its type in Petersburg, the South Chappell Street Car Barn is a tangible reminder of the transportation system that encouraged the construction of residential suburbs and contributed to the decline of central-city neighborhoods. The car barn was probably constructed between 1899 and 1903 to store and repair streetcars, by either the South Side Railway and Development Company or its successor, the Virginia Passenger and Power Company. The city’s first streetcar system was the creation of George Beadle, who also founded the Petersburg Street Railway Company in 1883 and used horse-drawn passenger cars. Beadle expanded the line west to the Central State Lunatic Asylum in 1888. The 1891 electrification of the lines and their expansion offered city workers transportation to suburban jobs, which encouraged many to move out of the city center. While it is a utilitarian building, the car barn has an intact historic form and details, providing a visible link to this early period in Petersburg’s transportation history. With the eventual decline of the streetcar system, the building was converted in 1936 to a bus service facility.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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