About Richmond and Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia is often called the "Old Dominion" and has some of the oldest history pertaining to the United States. Sometimes referred to as the "Mother of Presidents" because of the eight U.S. presidents from there, the state and the personalities that governed it have played significant roles in the choices made by the United States overall.
Like all Virginia municipalities incorporated as cities, Richmond is an independent city and not part of any county. The population count for Richmond in the 2010 census was 204,214 people. The entire "Richmond Metropolitan Area" crosses into 9 counties and is estimated to have a population of 1,231,675 persons.
Richmond land mass is 62.5 miles, of which 4% is water. The climate conditions for the city are categorized as humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and generally mild winters.
Richmond Spring 2015 - April
View of Richmond along the waterfront from the James River Bridge (I-95)
The Main Street Train Station (built 1901) popping up from among the more modern buildings in downtown Richmond. The train station services the Amtrak train line running north and south.
Shockoe Bottom area
The 1901 Main Street Train Station. The building was designed by the firm of Wilson, Harris, and Richards in the "Second Renaissance Revival" style.
The Poe Museum and house and gardens complex. It looks small from the street, but the facility extends behind the entrancebuilding into multiple structures and a British -English style garden park usually called "The Enchanted Garden."
Looking toward Richmond from Libbey Park.
Richmond from atop Libbey Hill Park.
In the distance is the Jame River as seen from Libbey Hill Park.
Blossoming ornamentals along Church Hill near Libbey Park
Richmond seen from Libbey Park, Oct 2014
Water on the James River Oct 2014
More about the James River
204,080 Jan 2011
|72.5% of population are high school graduates||Persons per square mile**
3,414.7 (VA avg: 202.6)
|Richmond Civilian Labor Force:
102,343 Sept 2011*
|Unemployment Rate Sept 2011 9.5% (9.9% aug 2011)||Richmond VA median household income: $37,115 (VA avg: $59,372)**
The geography and climate of the state of Virginia are contained and regulated by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay which bound the state on the west side and on the eastern seaboard. Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth; Virginia Beach is the most populous city and Fairfax County the most populous political subdivision. The state population is estimated at 7,882,590 by the U.S. Government Census (See quickfacts.census.gov).
Animal Tracks along the James River near Richmond VA
In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony, at that time the Powhatan indian tribes were the native people of the area. The early part of the development of the area was based upon what was primarily a "plantation economy" and the export of wood and other materials.
Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which Richmond became the Confederate capital. The war dramatically changed the character of the city as many buildings were destroyed due to the fighting and turmoil, Union occupation and deaths of many of the confederate soldiers who were from Richmond. It took decades to rebuild and to reorganize Richmond (and Virginia) society.
The Virginia General Assembly operates in RIchmond and is the oldest legislature in the Americas. The state government has been repeatedly ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States. It is unique in how it treats cities and counties equally, manages local roads, and prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms.
Virginia's economy has many segments of production: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia (for example the headquarters of the Department of Defense and CIA); and extensive military facilities in Hampton Roads and Norfolk.
The Richmond area is considered to have a strong and diverse manufacturing base, with a concentration of federal and state agencies, headquarters of major corporations and bank-holding companies, numerous health facilities, and a number of educational institutions in the area. Services and government together account for more than half of all jobs in Richmond (the 2010 estimate for the Richmond VA area workforce was 652,000 persons., see Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Information technology and major semiconductor manufacturing firms are situated in Richmond , and the city is seen as the central point of the United States' East Coast's Silicon manufacturing community. The Virginia Bio-technology Research Park, located on the East Coast pharmaceutical and biotechnology corridor, is a center for research and development in drug development, medical diagnostics, biomedical engineering, forensics and environmental analysis. Richmond is the home for 45 biotechnology, bioscience and other related companies and research institutions.
Richmond is also the headquarters of the Fifth Federal Reserve District, and contains financial firms servicing Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia. Banking is a significant employment factor in the Richmond area, as is insurance. Richmond is headquarters for GE Financial Assurance (a unit of GE Capital Services), Anthem, Inc., Markel Corp., and LandAmerica Financial Group, among others.
Richmond is also the home for the $200 million Philip Morris Manufacturing Center. Located on a 200-acre site, the 1.6-million-square-foot facility represents the largest single capital investment in Philip Morris history.
* Source: Richmond Federal Reserve Bank
** Source: U.S. Census
Satellite Photo Richmond Virginia
Magnum Photography has a selection of Richmond, Petersburg photography by Eve Arnold from 1960 showing civil rights training - Magnum Web Site Virginia Photos