This photo, taken by Ed Roseberry in the 1960s, shows several of the shops along Main Street in Charlottesville, what today is the Downtown Mall. The buildings to the left were destroyed by fire in 1973. In 1974, the Paramount would go dark and stay closed for 3 decades. In the distance you can see the neon sign on the side of the Miller & Rhoads building. Just beyond that, there is another neon sign above the street level. Though not legible in this photo, that is the sign for WINA, the AM station at 1400 on the radio dial and located downtown at the time.
Another photo by Roseberry, this one looks at the same section of Main Street from the other view, looking west. W.T. Grant is now the location of Vivian’s and Rapture on the Downtown Mall. The cars have been replaced with trees and the shops have changed but most of the buildings seen here still stand.
Another holiday scene from 1954, this one includes a Salvation Army booth equipped with loud speakers to encourage charitable giving. The store front seen on the right belongs to the McCrory’s store, a five-and-dime that sat next to the Paramount Theater but was lost to fire in 1973. The photographer appears to have taken the shot from atop the theater’s marque. (Daily Progress)
One last image from the Daily Progress, this one shows some of the shops along Main Street and a stunning sampling of automobiles from the period. Main Street was a drivable road until the pedestrian mall was constructed in the mid 1970s. At different times in history Main Street was a one-way street but in 1954 traffic flowed in both directions.
This color photograph from the early 1970s shows the 200 block of East Main. The Lee’s Hallmark shop on the right was the same building that housed Kaufman’s for most of the first half of the 20th Century. (Coiner Collection at C’ville Images)
This final shot shows the west end of the downtown mall after the Omni Hotel was built in the mid 80s. The exact year of this image is not certain but it is obviously holiday time. It took many years as a pedestrian mall for Main Street to regain some of the economic vitality it had in earlier years. (Coiner Collection)