Jackson Ward is valuable to Richmond’s architectural history, as well as to¬†the Nation as one of the most important historic centers of African-American culture. Originally a political subdivision, the district became a center of African-American owned businesses, banks, fraternal orders and other social institutions. Today, the district contains one of the largest concentrations of pre-Civil War houses with cast iron¬†in Richmond. These houses represent a wide variety of styles that include Greek Revival, Italianate, Romanesque and Second Empire. Jackson Ward’s ornate cast-iron porches are second only to those of New Orleans.