I adore Cary Street Road and the neighborhoods that surround it.
It always makes me proud to drive out-of-towners along this fabulous corridor connecting River Road to Carytown. Watching their expressions and hearing them pause in whatever conversation they were engaged in as we drive beneath the canopy of century old oaks never fails to make me appreciate the power of that stretch. While Cary Street Road is lined with some of the most extraordinary estate-homes, unlike many exclusive and gated communities of the well-heeled, it almost feels as if these homes are all of Richmond’s to look at and appreciate, like a work of art.
And it is not just Cary Street that has this effect on all of us. The many streets South of Cary, such as Ampthill Road, where Ampthill House was built by Henry Cary around 1730, are just thrilling to drive along. Tempsford, Kanawha, Rio Vista, Kennondale, Hillcrest, Paxton, tend to be narrow, winding and sharply descend towards the river. Some houses look as if they were built in a ravine, others are perched up on hills but they all feel as if they belong there. There is no real rhyme or reason as to what lot is shaped in what way and which just makes these neighborhoods even more endearing.
I like this side of Cary Street as it has an almost “reclusive” quality. The streets aren’t pedestrian friendly, and lawns have to be a lawnkeeper’s nightmare, but it is very attractive. It has a subtle “play hard to get” feel about it and is just another one of the reasons that the neighborhoods South of Cary that are so appealing to me.
About the Writer // Jeanne Bridgforth is a Realtor with the One South Realty Group who specializes in Historic Properties throughout the City. She brings decades of experience to the table in many of Richmond’s most spectacular neighborhoods.