Aerial Photography of VCU's Past


The standard brochure cover photo of many American campuses is from a central quad on a bright spring day. For a school integrated tightly into the fabric of a city like VCU is on its MCV Campus, space is too precious for large expanses of turf to symbolize the institution, and from the mid-20th century, school leaders looked skyward for signature shots. Many of these images made their way into VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives. This exhibit features a selection of 20 annotated and enhanced aerial photographs.

While photos taken from high above certainly show the massive changes in VCU's physical plant as both patient care and educational facilities modernized and grew, they also chronicle equally sweeping physical transformations in the city of Richmond. From the massive swath of the city demolished to build expressways to the disappearance of natural valleys and waterways, aerial photos show how different the city we know today is from the city of just a century past.

The exhibit is free and currently open to all VCU students, faculty and staff during library hours. Parking is available for a fee in the 8th Street parking deck. If special accommodations are needed, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at (804) 393-2951.

Image: Construction of the Leigh St. Viaduct, VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives