VCU Libraries Gallery

Medical College of Virginia Aerial Photography

VCU Libraries Special Collections and Archives contains numerous aerial photographs documenting the changing landscape of the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). These photographs also dramatically illustrate the alterations in the city’s topography.

The Medical College of Virginia's (now VCU) expansion profoundly affected Richmond’s Shockoe Creek, Bacon’s Quarter Branch, and Council Chamber Hill/Court End areas. The once prominent embankment outlining the path of Bacon’s Quarter Branch was almost completely eliminated by the 1980s.

The western and northern expansion of the campus eradicated the last residential sections in the immediate vicinity of MCV and the old John Marshall High School at  Marshall and Eighth Streets. The construction of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike during the 1950s set an eastern boundary for the institution. MCV bought up property and residences as fast as possible as the city began to change in the post-World War II period.

This exhibit shares a selection of images highlighting the MCV Campus's evolution from the 1940s through the 1970s. 


VCU Special Collections and Archives staff. The banner features an image of the MCV campus in 1938 prior to the construction of West Hospital.