Downtown ADC District

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Downtown ADC District

Downtown ADC District


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The Downtown Architectural Design Control District was created in 1985, and additional properties were added in 2006. All properties within the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Courthouse National Register Historic District are protected on the local level by the Downtown and North Downtown ADC Districts.  This district includes properties along the Pedestrian Mall, Market Street, Water Street, South Street and West Main Street.

Charlottesville's traditional, late 19th-century commercial core centered on Main Street, originally the Three Notch'd Road.  Seven blocks now comprise the pedestrian mall.  To the West, "Vinegar Hill" was an area of African-American commercial, civic, and residential buildings razed in a 1964 urban renewal project. 333 West Main and the Jefferson School are surviving structures.  To the south, Water Street contained railroad-oriented warehouses and industrial buildings.  Charlottesville’s Main Street emerged during the mid-19th century as the social and commercial heart of the City. However, after a century of prosperity, businesses declined downtown as suburban centers drew patrons away from the historic center.  

Many buildings suffered from neglect through the 1960's, and organized efforts to revive downtown Charlottesville began early the next decade. Halprin & Associates directed the master planning project to enclose Main Street to create a pedestrian mall throughout the early 1970s, the first phase of which was completed in 1976.   

Hardware store flagsThe brick streets and unique mix of businesses featuring restaurants, clothing retailers, and theaters thrive not only as a major tourist destination for Charlottesville visitors but also as the social center for residents as it did during the late 19th century.

Downtown is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. More information on the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Courthouse National Register Historic District can be found here.


Additions to Original North Downtown and Downtown ADC Boundaries

  • pdf iconSECTION 1: Introduction; Historical and Architectural Significance
  • pdf iconSECTION 2: Altamont Circle
  • pdf iconSECTION 3: Altamont Street
  • pdf iconSECTION 4: West High Street; Lyons Court; McIntire Road; Walker St.; North 1st St.
  • pdf iconSECTION 5: 2nd Street, NE; 2nd Street, NW
  • pdf iconSECTION 6: 3rd Street, NE; 4th Street, NE; Avon Street; 4th Street, SE

 Charlottesville/Albemarle County Courthouse National Register Nomination