Casually driving down Hull Street you may not notice all the architects, contractors, and developers working in the neighborhood. Whether they are congregating on the sidewalk, standing on rooftops, or spelunking through boarded up buildings that haven’t seen the light of day in 50 years…trust me, they are there.
You really need to get out of your car and walk or bike the neighborhood if you want to fully absorb the magnitude of the transformation that has begun. It’s easy at first to miss the early signs of progress unless you look carefully. But it is happening…and happening quickly. It usually starts with a dumpster or two. Then men begin cutting back overgrown vines and vegetation that cover up century old structures. These buildings are time capsules. Like a birthday present, cheesy stucco facades that were added in the second half of the 20th Century are peeled back to reveal stunning Victorian architecture that lies in waiting. Bricked in and boarded up windows are open once again. Sunshine enters. It’s as if you can actually hear these structures come alive as they breathe in the fresh air and release the dank, trapped vapors that lie within. These tough old birds aren’t dead yet-far from it in fact. These buildings have stories to tell. They have just been waiting for someone to listen.
What we are doing to ensure the rebirth of Hull Street
It’s no secret that Laura & I are actively involved in making the rebirth of Hull Street happen through our Church Hill Ventures initiative. These aren’t just words. We are committing money, passion, and actively recruiting talented entrepreneurs who share our enthusiasm. But it isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take vision, creativity, and lots of hard work.
The slideshow below contains a few pictures of our early scouting, demolition, and renovation work that gives an indication of what is to come. We can hardly wait to share with Richmond the dormant beauty of these old buildings repurposed for new life. But you won’t just get to read about them. You will be able to come visit them first hand. Brimming new businesses and residents will give Manchester’s Hull Street its mojo back.
Soon, several blocks of Hull Street will be completely unrecognizable. It’s going to be fun to watch it come back to life. If you get a chance, drive down Hull Street and catch a glimpse of what it looks like now, because it is about to be completely transformed!