The Triangle, also known as The Avenue, was Petersburg's black business center until the 1970's. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, New Market on South Avenue was the marketplace for black and white farmers from Southside Virginia and North Carolina. During the 1870's and 1880's, when the political and economic climate worsened as a result of white reaction to Reconstruction, blacks formed their own separate society in Petersburg. During this period, many new black businesses were established, including Wilkerson's Funeral Home (1874), rug stores, barbershops, tailor shops, and banks. The Rialto Theater, designed by black architect Charles T. Russell, was built in 1923 during a time when blacks had limited access to white establishments. The Rialto and the Club Chatterbox became popular places for Petersburg blacks to socialize before desegregation.
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Geographical and Contact Information
South Avenue, Halifax and Harrison Streets
425 Cockade Aly
Phone: 804-733-2400 / 804-733-2402