As we traverse through the chapters of Richmond’s history, the 1990s stand out as a decade of remarkable evolution and growth. From flourishing art scenes and the emergence of new cultural hotspots to the city’s growing technological prowess, the ’90s proved to be a decade that saw Richmond taking strides towards an exciting future. Let’s jump into this fascinating period and see how Richmond was reshaped during this time.
The Technological Renaissance
As the world enthusiastically embraced the Digital Age in the ’90s, so did Richmond. The city witnessed a technological boom, with the rise of numerous tech startups. Major corporations and governmental departments in Richmond began to heavily invest in upgrading their infrastructure to make the most of the new digital tools at their disposal. High-speed internet, new software tools, and advanced hardware transformed the city’s workspaces, paving the way for Richmond’s successful transition into a new era.
Revival of the Arts
While technology was a major theme of the decade, the ’90s also marked a renaissance in Richmond’s art scene. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, an already established beacon of culture, underwent an extensive expansion and renovation. This brought new exhibits and collections to the city, enriching its cultural landscape. A thriving music scene emerged as well, with genres like punk, rock, and jazz gaining popularity and contributing to Richmond’s burgeoning reputation as an arts hub.
Reclaiming the Waterfront
One of the most significant developments of the decade was the transformation of Richmond’s waterfront. The James River, which had long been an underutilized natural asset, took center stage in the ’90s. Thanks to several ambitious urban development initiatives, the riverfront was revitalized with parks, trails, and recreational facilities. This created a perfect blend of urban life and natural beauty, which continues to be a defining feature of Richmond.
The Rise of the Food Scene
The culinary scene in Richmond also witnessed an exciting evolution. The ’90s saw a rise in multicultural cuisine as restaurants serving diverse food from around the world sprung up across the city. As a result, Richmond began to establish itself as a foodie’s paradise, a reputation it proudly holds today.
Looking back, it’s clear that the 1990s was a transformative period for Richmond, Virginia. As the city embraced technology, nurtured its artistic talent, redefined its relationship with the James River, and indulged in culinary creativity, it marked a path towards a future of, growth, and modernization.
The prison – home to Virginia’s death row and an electric chair known as “Old Sparky” – occupied 17 acres around Byrd, Spring, Belvidere and Second streets and had been in service for almost 200 years before closing late that year. Death row moved to Greensville Correctional Center near Jarratt; the former penitentiary site is owned by NewMarket Corp.
Her great-niece (right) wore high-topped sneakers, just like her namesake. But it will be her last public appearance as Mary Wingfield Scott - she will soon marry, becoming Mary Wingfield Scott Walters. Chuck Richardson at the microphone with Mayor Walter T. Kenney and Mary Wingfield Scott with the crowd in the alley.