While plans to develop the present-day Fan District date back to the early 1800s, construction didn’t begin in earnest until the 1880s, when Richmond was rebuilding itself in the wake of the Civil War’s end. As the district’s name suggests, its street grid “fans” out from its eastern boundary (Belvidere) to its western edge (the Boulevard), giving it a distinctive shape. (It is bounded on the south by Main Street and on the north by Grace Street.) The district’s architectural styles include the Italianate, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival.

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