The Dream for Petersburg : Petersburg VA Time Traveling Park
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_________ Time Traveler's Portal
I remember the 1950s reaching up high and stumbling along  holding my mother’s hand as she shops along Sycamore Street in downtown Petersburg.  Almost every storefront was open, like Center’s, Rucker Rosenstock, The Globe, Tots and Teens, Taylor’s Mensware, 5 and Dime, The Bluebird Movie Theater, the rich auspicious marble bank interiors, and definitely one of my favorites, Kids Stuff.

As time passed, and Walnut Hill Plaza was built, Downtown Petersburg began to suffer.  Walnut Mall in the late 1960s and Southpark Mall by the 1990's pretty much finished Downtown Petersburg.

I started my first business on Sycamore Street in 1974, Cockade Fire Insurance Company.  I worked with the Center City Association and dreamed up lots of ideas to improve Downtown.  However, I in my mid 20s was not taken seriously by the dozens of store owners that ruled their own enterprise and supported only their personal ideas.  Mutual support was never achieved among its Members and the Association folded as stores closed one after the other.

The Dream for Petersburg

by Steven Marek on 07/17/16

Petersburg has two colossal benefits that make the revival of Petersburg believable. One, Petersburg has history and beautiful old architecture along Sycamore Street between Old Town and Washington Street. This benefit is priceless and could not be recreated even with many millions of dollars. And two, the major travel corridor, both Interstate 85 and Interstate 95 runs to and through Petersburg with exits right next to Downtown Petersburg. This is a dramatic stroke of luck that few old towns possess.


Imagine lower Sycamore Street and Old Street as it was in between 1890 and 1910. No cars, only horse drawn wagons and carriages. Inside the stores and restaurants look very much the time period, including the dress of store owners and workers. The security or police are dressed also in period attire. In the stores visitors discover merchandise that a time traveler would expect at the turn of the 20th Century, (I will explain how this can happen later.)

As you move up Sycamore Street toward Tabb Street, you move in time to the 1920s and 1930s. The cars parked along the street are vintage vehicles that match the time. The stores contain merchandise of that time and the restaurants look like music clubs with entertainment that reflect the period, much like the old movies of the time.

As the time traveler passes Tabb Street, he enters the 1940s with 1940s automobiles and even vintage dressed solders walking along the street. In the stores and restaurants are what the time traveler would expect to see during the time.

Then, near the top of Sycamore Street approaching Franklin Street to Washington Street the time traveler once again takes a jump through time into the 1950s and early 1960s. Vintage vehicles of the time parked along the street and stores with merchandise of the time and malt shops and restaurants that reflect the time.

All of Sycamore Street from Old Street to Washington Street is now a Time Traveler Theme Park and is closed to traffic and the street is turned into a open pedestrian mall. Attractive barriers, like a tall wrought iron fence block traffic and enclose the safety of pedestrians inside the Theme Park.

A main entrance gate along Bollingbrook Street, and possibly another on Franklin Street is created to secure the park with limited entrance. Visitors pay a nominal entrance fee.


Today, a number of buildings along Bank Street have been removed and the area north of the Police Station to Bollingbrook Street can become a large, mall like parking area. Golf cart pulled train of carts carry people to the entrance. Once inside, the time traveler can walk the Sycamore Street corridor or ride Cart Train transportation up and down the street for free. Time traveler visitors can take purchases to the Cart Train and ride to the parking area, unload, and ride back for more food, fun and shopping.


Owners of vintage cars and trucks keep these vehicles in prime condition and are proud of their ownership. Vintage car owners will be proud to display their gems along the mall walk with potentially thousands of amazed tourist and citizens every month. There can even be an unobtrusive standard window display identifying year, make and owner information. Some can even be available for sale. Owners can display their vehicles as long or as short as they wish.


In recent years there has been a proliferation of antique malls. Being an Antique Dealer is a rewarding hobby. The usual method of renting a space in an Antiques Mall and filling it with your finds is often a money losing ordeal because of the initial layout of rent. Here is a better deal for Petersburg and a potential money making plan for both startup and experienced Antique Dealers.

Antique Dealers will not be required to pay rent and will have no private space. Antique Dealers bring their merchandise to a central location with a special standardized preprinted price tag. This price tag has a bar code identifying the Dealer and the item. Store managers and knowledgeable pickers visit the location and picks items that best represent the time period where their store is located. Stores may also specialize in glassware, tools, figurines, art, furniture and etc. This will provide store managers with all the merchandise they need to have a well displayed, but not overstocked store.


Other stores along Sycamore Street can be identified as Reproduction Stores displaying items customary for the time which the store is located. Stores like mens suits and hats, ladies fashion, home furnishing, and even vintage hair make-overs. These enterprises can help provide jobs and even careers for the people of Petersburg who contribute with talented hands.

First, citizens of Petersburg need to discover their special talents. Are you good with your hands and can build a coffee table? Can you make a small sculpture that can fit in a shopping bag. Can you make a peg leg stool like that may have been found on board a wagon train in 1890? Does your grandmother have an old night-stand that you can reproduce in your garage? Are you an artist that can make decorative vintage looking wall hangings? Are you a creative electrician that can turn an old coffee grind into a lamp? Can you stitch together cloth to create vintage clothing? Can you make a hat like that warn during the first half of the 20th Century? What is your talent? Believe in it and create it.

Your talents will be rewarded when or if your creation is wanted, desired and purchased by visitors of Downtown Petersburg.

Antique Dealers and Reproduction Creators Business Management

Your items display a standardize price tag available at a selected Petersburg printer. The price tag displays a bar code with that identifies the (D) Dealer or {C} Creator and a number which identifies the item. Your item is entered into a computer data base by you or with available help. The DC Code and ID Number is not editable, however with any computer device, the DC can enter or edit the description and price. If the item is not selling fast enough, the DC has the ability to change description or price or lower the price with a special sales price. The DC has access to his/her items in the data base. The DC will know when the item is sold and funds are remitted to the DCs special bank account on a daily or regular basis.

When the item is chosen for display by one of many stores, the store code is identified in the bar code. If the DC wishes to retrieve their item(s), they will have a better idea where they can be found. Simply show your proof of ID at checkout.

Potential customers with a smart phone can scan the bar code to identify the item with its price/sales price. Although it may be possible to make transactions on the smart phone, it may be greater security to be paid through a checkout location near the entrance.




The corporation is organized as a Mutual Not For Profit Organization with a Planning and Organization Board of twelve (12) persons, nominated on a regular basis by Operational Managers and Prepared Food Location Owners. Proceeds to be managed by the Board of Directors and the balance equitably distributed among its Mutual Owner Employees. Actions and decisions of the Board is open to all interested employees.

The Board, along with the assistance from City Officials can help negotiate building purchase agreements or rent. Many of these buildings need repair, upkeep, maintained and upgraded. The buildings rent must reflect a significant reduction or free use for an extended period of time.

All stores, specialty shops and restaurants pay no rent or utilities. Restaurant and Food and Drink locations operational costs is suggested at 35% of gross proceeds plus state and local sales taxes collected at point of sale. Stores and speciality shops operating on 100% consignment, pay nothing more than the commissions and sales taxes received.

All employees and managers own mutually the non-profit organization. On a regular basis, gross proceeds from public entrance fees, commissions, and business location operational costs contributions are calculated. From this total, all cooperate rent and mortgage obligations, utility expenses, tax and insurance obligations are funded.

A suggested 5% of the remaining balance is set aside as funding for future improvements and developments. The remainder is paid to all employees and managers on an equitable basis.

The following is a suggested division of proceeds:

Managers earn 12 points per hour of service.

Responsibility that all is running smoothly in their store location.

Assistant Managers earn 8 points per hour of service.

Responsibility to assist Management and assume Management roll in Management’s absence.

Cash Register Workers earn 8 points per hour of service.

Responsibility to manage properly and enter cash register operations.

Warehouse Merchandise Pickers earn 8 points per hour of service.

Responsibility of having knowledge of period antiques and a taste for quality presentation of items within store locations.

Warehouse workers earn 8 points per hour of service.

Responsibility to manage proper price tag installation, management of item storage and retrieval, and all upkeep and cleanup responsibilities.

All other employees earn 4 points per hour of service.

Responsibility to dress in period clothing, assist customers, and occupy stores as store helpers in the time period of your dress and sometimes walk along the street and sidewalk in your time period to acknowledge visitors with a welcome and a smile.

Restaurant and food and drink locations hire and pay their own salaries, workers and employees, and retain their profits.

At pay time, the available funds are divided by the total number of points earned by all employees and managers. This is the amount paid per point earned. This amount times the total points earned by the employee or manager is his/her pay amount.


The organization is a Mutual Not For Profit, so all donations are tax deductible. The organization should increase its potential for financial success by soliciting donations from wealthy area residents, including soliciting to be included as a recipient in legal wills and contracts. These funds can make it possible to purchase some buildings to reduce rental outlays, which help increase employees paychecks. Funds received can also be added to the 5% development fund to make projects happen earlier.


Petersburg, Virginia, back again on the map with billboards along the I-95 corridor. Petersburg, a time travelers walk through time, 1890 - 1960, antiques, reproductions, restaurants, vintage car showings and sales. I believe thousands of time traveling visitors will be walking the Petersburg Time Traveling Park on Sycamore Street from Old Street to Washington Street. Travelers are spenders. Nearly all will buy food and purchase something to remember their visit to Petersburg and their fascinating and educational time traveling experience.

Hundreds of residents of Petersburg and the surrounding area will earn income from the sales of vintage merchandise.

Hundreds more will earn money from their home or garage creating vintage reproductions to be sold in the Time Traveling Park.

And even a hundred or more will earn income working or showing off their period costumes along the time corridor.


Please help spread the word by contacting your friends, and local officials to a possible future for Petersburg. I request school teachers and students discuss the plan and discover income possibilities for Petersburg and its residents with the development of this Time Theme Park.

Comments (2)

1. wallace crump said on 7/26/16 - 03:39PM
This sounds like a wonderful dream and that is all it is a dream that will never come true.
2. Dzulietta Vilenski said on 9/10/16 - 08:59AM
Steven! I love your idea! I wish it become a reality. Its fun and its profitable. Its like Time Traveler's Disney Land. Send this video to the office of Governor of VA. Or may be contact the University of VA and offer a presentation of this idea as a lacture for the students. Its just a fun to let people know what a good thing to may be done in Pitersburg.

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Petersburg, Virginia
The Plan by Steven C. Marek
I too moved my business to Richmond, Virginia, but my dreams of the future of Downtown Petersburg, Virginia never faded, 
Now in my mid 60s I want to use the technology of the World Wide Web and Youtube to share my dream with you,
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click NOW & THEN
Petersburg, Virginia
Time Traveling Portal
Employing and Creating Money Making Opportunities for Thousands.
Please help by making a donation as your vote YES
You want to help make this happen. 

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to help fund this plan into a possible reality.
Petersburg's best kept secret
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