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The economic hardships faced by contractors and promotors after the Depression of 1893 lingered until the turn of the century.Thereafter, prosperity began to return and a boom in the real estate market encouraged speculation in the development of extensive acres of land in the Upper Fan.Only Columbia survives in nearly its original form, showing the affluence and taste of this small group of Richmonders who chose to live away from the town center.The Columbia House, perhaps the Fan area’s oldest house, a former Civil War hospital, and, until 1914, one of the buildings of the College of Richmond, is profiled in the January 2012 issue of Besides its use as a site for fashionable country estates, the area was early considered a prime candidate for real estate speculation.
Following a period of decline and neglect that reached its nadir in the mid-20th century, the area emerged once again in the early 1960s as an appealing and increasingly “gentrified” inner city neighborhood.
Now known as the Lower Fan, the area thereafter became progressively more attractive to residents and developers mainly because of the increasing availability of public transportation, water and sewerlines,and public parks.
Soon after the 1870s, handsome blocks of brick rowhouses began to appear–first around Monroe Park and later along extensions of Grace and Franklin streets, and Park, Grove, and Floyd avenues.
Some of the winners never claimed their prizes, and others never bothered to record their deeds.
An attempt was made to rectify the situation in 1781 when the legislature authorized Charles Carter to execute deeds to the lots and sell those that were never claimed.