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SLIDESHOW: West Main Street, December 2016
by Sean Tubbs | Monday, December 19, 2016 at 9:20 a.m.
A look from West Main Street towards Commerce Street on a lot that could one day be the home of the Hotel Quirk
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
A look from West Main Street towards Commerce Street on a lot that could one day be the home of the Hotel Quirk
A view towards West Main Street from corner of 6th St. NW and Commerce Street with Centurylink building in foreground
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
A view towards West Main Street from corner of 6th St. NW and Commerce Street with Centurylink building in foreground
The late Gabe Silverman renovated 505 West Main Street as part of a new wave of adaptive re-use projects in the street during early 21th century
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
The late Gabe Silverman renovated 505 West Main Street as part of a new wave of adaptive re-use projects in the street during early 21th century
Crews erected a fence outside the Republic Plaza in early December 2016 to prepare for demolition
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Crews erected a fence outside the Republic Plaza in early December 2016 to prepare for demolition
Construction of the Marriott Autograph Hotel at 1106 West Main shut down one lane of traffic in early December 2016
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Construction of the Marriott Autograph Hotel at 1106 West Main shut down one lane of traffic in early December 2016
Existing conditions looking east on a multimodal West Main Street
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
Existing conditions looking east on a multimodal West Main Street
In the early 21st century, passenger service has returned as a major component in Charlottesville's transportation network
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
In the early 21st century, passenger service has returned as a major component in Charlottesville's transportation network
A distant view of partially demolished Republic Plaza on December 18, 2016
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
A distant view of partially demolished Republic Plaza on December 18, 2016
View from West Main of partially-demolished Republic Plaza
Credit: Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow
View from West Main of partially-demolished Republic Plaza
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West Main Street has been through many changes throughout Charlottesville's history. In 2003, City Council selected the street for intense development in order to shore up the city's tax base. Recent years have seen the construction of many large buildings as a result.

In the past few years, two construction strategies have been employed. In one, existing buildings were adapted for the present day. In the other, buildings have been removed to make way for bigger structures.

By 2016, the latter approach seems to have become more common. Over the course of the past twelve months, city officials have approved an apartment complex behind the Blue Moon Diner, heard details about another hotel across the street and have seen the opening of a Marriott Residence Inn at the corner of West Main. Another large building, the L-shaped Uncommon, now stretches around the historic Patton Mansion.

In March, the Charlottesville City Council chose a path forward for a multimillion streetscape. The firm Rhodeside & Harwell has been hired by the city to craft construction documents for new sidewalks, street trees, bike lanes and other amenities intended to make West Main Street a destination as well as a corridor. Those documents are expected to be complete by the spring of 2016.

In the meantime, the street is experiencing a temporary streetscape as construction of two new buildings has affected traffic patterns. A Marriott Autograph hotel is being built at 1106 West Main Street at the site of the former Studio Arts building. The Republic Plaza, built in 1989, is being demolished to make room for the six-story Standard building. A one-story building that formerly housed a Safeway is also being removed.