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wrldcoupe4

Museum Developments in Richmond

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Hey guys, I thought I would add this forum as well. There is a lot of stuff going on with Richmonds Museums and the city will be adding a few more in the years to come....

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First off, The Headquarters/Museum for the Virginia Historical Society located on the Boulevard adjacent to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"The new building made possible by the current campaign will address all these needs. It will consist of a new, 54,000-square-foot wing that will include a 500-seat auditorium, new exhibition space, a state-of-the-art classroom, and enough space to house the next twenty years' worth of anticipated collections growth." The facility has already tripled in size since 1991. -VHS Expansion

Expansion Construction Photos

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First off, The Headquarters/Museum for the Virginia Historical Society located on the Boulevard adjacent to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"The new building made possible by the current campaign will address all these needs. It will consist of a new, 54,000-square-foot wing that will include a 500-seat auditorium, new exhibition space, a state-of-the-art classroom, and enough space to house the next twenty years' worth of anticipated collections growth." The facility has already tripled in size since 1991. -VHS Expansion

Expansion Construction Photos

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How many museums does Richmond have exactly?

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Next up, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, located on The Boulevard, next to the Virginia Historical Society. The museum is undergoing a major expansion which is scheduled to be finished by 2007:

These are the key features which can be found here

# The expansion will add 100,000 square feet of new space to the existing 240,000-square-foot museum. Gallery space for the collections and temporary exhibitions will grow by nearly 50%, and visitors will be able to circulate easily through the galleries without having to retrace their steps.

# The new Atrium, a triple-height "main street," will connect the new building with two existing wings and open onto a new library, museum shop, caf

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How many museums does Richmond have exactly?

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Loads....I'm not sure of the exact number. Probably in the dozens though.

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A new museum which is being built in Richmond and scheduled to open in conjunction with Jamestown 2007 festivities is the First Freedom Center. It will focus on the importance of Religious Freedoms and the impact it has had all over the world. The first time religious freedom was established was in Richmond in 1786: Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom by Thomas Jefferson.

They plan on constructing the First Freedom Center at the corner of Cary St and N 14 St along the Shockoe Slip. "Construction of a 30,000 square-foot Center (including galleries, an auditorium, exhibits, classrooms and a bookstore)"

There is also a plan for a First Freedom Monument to be built along the James River possibly by the Canal Walk.

I can't find many rendering for the building, however, here is a link to a couple:

First Freedom Center

Here are some more from RCW:

RCW Renderings for FFC

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Don't forget about the new Civil War Museum that will be built on the Canal Walk at Tredegar Iron Works! I'm trying to find a link to it, but it will be pretty awesome and will focus on both the Northern and Southern perspectives as well as the perspective from the slaves!

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Don't forget about the new Civil War Museum that will be built on the Canal Walk at Tredegar Iron Works!  I'm trying to find a link to it, but it will be pretty awesome and will focus on both the Northern and Southern perspectives as well as the perspective from the slaves!

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You can read my mind eandslee.....I had to take a break from all that typing but that was going to be my next post. I'll see what I can dig up as well.

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Okay, the historic Tredegar Iron Works near the Canal and overlooking the James River is already home to the Richmond Civil War Visitor's Center. It has some really cool exhibits on the civil war, not to mention the Tredegar Iron Works was a major supplier to the confederates for cannons, munitions and other vital resources.

However, they are breaking ground on April 22 on the new American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar. It will tell the war through three unique perspectives: Union, Confederate, and African-American. Definitely cool and arguably unusual to have in what was the former Capital of the Confederacy.

Here is a link to a TimesDispatch Article that goes in more depth and detail on the project that is slated to be complete in 2006. Although the original plan has been scaled back for now, they still plan on constructing a new 3-story 21,000 sf addition.

The article also mentions the awesome Pamplin Historical Park near Petersburg that is home to the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. If you like the Civil War, Pamplin is a must.

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The First Freedom and Civil and Civil War Museums sound really promising. They could be really popular. I hope to check them out in the future when they open. I like American history a lot - so I would find these museums especially appealing.

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If you like American History, you have to visit RIC. Ever heard of "Give me liberty or Give me death"? Yea, that guy :) patrick henry gave that speach right here in richmond at St. John's Church.

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An organization that possesses a massive amount of history about Richmond is the Valentine Richmond History Center. It's museum consists of the history center, the circa 1812 Wickham House, and the Davis house, on East Clay Street in downtown Richmond.

The Davis House is almost finished undergoing an extensive restoration. The rest of the Museum will begin a restoration soon as well. They have a huge collection of artifacts about the Richmond area.

The mission of the Valentine is to "engage, educate, and challenge a diverse audience by collecting, preserving, and interpreting Richmond's history."

This is a good image of a portion of the museum courtesy of Richmond City Watch's Ryan Ramsey. More can be found RCW Valentine's Museum

022valentine_museum1.jpg

More info on the Valentine Richmond History Center can be found at their website.

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I suppose the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens would kind of justify as being in this category...Definitely a cool looking place:

richmo21.jpg

They are named after "Lewis Ginter, a prominent Richmond businessman who owned the property during the late 1800s."

"The more than 30 acres of gardens includes the Henry M. Flagler Perennial Garden, one of the largest and most diverse perennial gardens on the East Coast; the Grace Arents Garden, an elegant Victorian-style garden restored by The Garden Club of Virginia; Asian Valley, an exotic garden setting; the Martha and Reed West Island Garden, a wetland environment with a stunning display of pitcher plants, water irises and lotuses; a Children's Garden with colorful and interesting plants to attract butterflies and birds; the Lucy Payne Minor Garden, a study garden with an extensive collection of daffodils and daylilies (including the Stout Medal daylily collection); and the Margaret Streb Conifer Garden featuring dwarf conifers." More info can be found at its website: Lewis Ginter

During Christmas time they deck the whole place out with thousands of lights and decorations. One of those Richmond favorites for people to do.

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How could we forget the Museum of the Confederacy? Definitely cool if you want to learn more about the history of the Confederate States of America's short-lived existence. It consists of a museum with exhibits, as well as the White House of the Confederacy.

"Designated a National Historic Landmark, the White House of the Confederacy is one of the nation's finest historic, architectural and decorative treasures. The Washington Post has written that the White House of the Confederacy

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The Virgina Center for Architecture opened in the Branch house designed by John Russel Pope on Monument avenue. The branch house is a 27,000sf mansion built in 1919.

front.jpg

Frank Gehry spoke during the grand opening ceremonies. I know Robert Stern spoke last week as well.

More images can be found here.

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It is beginning construction on its $150 million expansion this summer. The parking deck which incorporates the sculpture garden will begin construction with the newextension and renovation of the original building will begin in the fall

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Huge development for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts............

Bequest is 'huge win' for museum

McGlothlins' donation of art, funds is valued at above $100 million

BY CLARKE BUSTARD

TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

May 17, 2005

James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin, a Virginia-born couple who are among the most prominent collectors of American art, have pledged a massive donation of artwork and funds to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Their gift, announced at a museum gala last night, is valued at more than $100 million.

The McGlothlins will bequeath a collection of 19th- and 20th-century oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and sculpture from "one of the most important American art collections still in private hands," said Michael Brand, the museum's director.

The collection currently consists of about 100 works, but it is "very much a work in progress," as the McGlothlins continue to buy, sell and trade pieces, Brand said.

James McGlothlin said he and his wife intend to "improve on our collection" before it passes on to the museum after their deaths.

The couple will also finance an endowment to support research, conservation, exhibitions and possible further acquisitions of art.

A museum exhibit of 35 works from their collection, "Capturing Beauty: American Impressionist and Realist Paintings from the McGlothlin Collection," will open to the public on Thursday and will remain on view through Sept. 18....

.....Since the 1990s, McGlothlin has been ranked among the 10 wealthiest Virginia residents. (He and his wife also maintain homes in Texas and Florida.)

Frances McGlothlin, 61 and a native of Leesburg, has been a member of the museum's board of trustees for the past seven years.

The couple and United Co. made a leading donation of $10 million for the renovation and expansion of the museum, a $162 million project that will get under way in the fall.

The McGlothlin collection will be housed in an American art gallery in a newly constructed north wing. Both will be named for the couple, Brand said.

The gift will "raise our holdings to a new level," said David Park Curry, the museum's curator of American art.

Artwork of the kind the McGlothlins collect has become prohibitively expensive for many museums, Curry said. "This gift will bring us works of a quality that we couldn't have [acquired] otherwise."

Brand said the museum stands to become an "essential stop" for those viewing major collections of American art at institutions along the East Coast.

"This collection could have been housed in any great museum in this country," Gov. Mark R. Warner said. "The fact that the McGlothlins chose the Virginia Museum . . . is a huge win."

Their gift and the museum expansion promise to "make Richmond one of the arts and cultural destinations on the East Coast," Warner said. "That has great economic-development implications."........

The whole article

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This is a HUGH plus for the Arts in Virginia. As Gov. Warner says, this endowment/gift will make Richmond "one of the art and cultural destinations on the east coast".

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Now, if VAPAF could find a sugar daddy! Maybe some enterprising developer will build a 50-story mixed-use tower with a concert hall included on the Thalhimer plot, then lease the Hall to VAPAF for a dollar-a-year while collecting massive rents from the tower occupants! An innovative well designed tower on this high-elevation site (Broad between 6th and 7th) could become a signature piece for Richmond.

And continuing the dream, the under-used but significantly unique Blues Armory at 6th and Marshall should have its interior gutted (preserving, of course, the fabulous exterior) to house a LORT theatre complex. Richmond lost its professional Equity playhouse when Theatre Virginia closed.

And restoration of the National Theatre as a 1000 seat venue, repairs/additions to the Empire complex and establishing the performing arts school at The Landmark should progress.

Philip Morris, UPS, Capital One, where are your big bucks?

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Relative to the above dream, I wouldn't want to rob Charleston of its Spoletto Festival, but with facilities as described above, Richmond could establish 2 or 3 equally attractive performing arts festivals. Maybe one each in spring, summer and fall to present big name and local performers in music, dance and drama. Norfolk, to its credit, has a wonderful spring festival.

At least there is one reality in all this dreaming. The Carpenter Center is closed and work is beginning on it and the remaining Thalhimer building adjacent on Grace street. At last, with a 49-foot depth, Richmond will have a stage large enough to handle the biggest shows such as THE LION KING, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and others that have by-passed the city because of stage limitations. (It's perceived by many that the Landmark stage is gigantic, and while that is true in procenium opening, its depth is only about 35 feet.)

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Another note on the performing arts: I saw the Richmond Ballet in its New York City debut at the Joyce Theatre last month. Some extremely sharp-eyed professionals in the dance World spoke very highly of the Company, and I was proud of my home town.

Also last night, I had the pleasure of seeing a reading of a new play by Richmond playwright, Bo Wilson called IN SERVICE OF THE QUEEN. It was presented by The Algonquin Group at St. Clements here in New York to unanimous praise. Bo said the Richmond Ensemble Company will stage it in Richmond next Fall.

Richmond, indeed, has a superb arts community.

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Burt I'd have to say I like all of your ideas and I'm glad you got to see Richmond represented up in NY. I agree that VAPAF should revise its plan for the thalhimer block. If anything, I think the priority should be fixing up what we already have (landmark, carpenter center, national theatre, Hippodrome...etc etc). Then we can worry about this signature center.

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Didn't I read somewhere that the City is financially assisting Ron Stallings and Tim Reid in renovating the Hippodrome? I think the plan is to establish a studio within the building for music recording and post-production film work tied in with New Millinneum Studios.

Contrary to most beliefs, the present-day Hippodrome is NOT the structure that housed performances by the big names of the 40s. The building was practically destroyed by fire in the late 40s and what was rebuilt is the present, sterile, barely raked auditorium with practically no stage facilities.

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Burt...do you know of a timetable for a rejuvenated Hippodrome? I remember seeing some great renderings a while back.

In other news, the First Freedom Center is beginning to come along:

History Uncovered

Plans call for the construction of a $25 million exhibition center

Matthew Philips

Richmond.com

Friday, May 20, 2005

In 1786, the Virginia General Assembly signed into law Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Referred to by some historians and scholars as "the most important document in American history," Jefferson's statute was the framework on which the founding fathers based the First Amendment's religion clause, ensuring the protection of every American's right to religious freedom........

...........But 220 years after the fact, the only thing the reputed birthplace of religious freedom has to offer visitors is surface parking for $4 an hour. An unassuming plaque at the corner of 14th and Cary streets at the convergence of Richmond's Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom informs those who take time to notice, and most passersby do not, the importance of the site. Recently the message has been emblazoned across the side of the building which has stood derelict on the site for longer than anyone cares to remember.

It's hardly a worthy monument, but there is an effort afoot to change that. Since 1984, the Council for America's First Freedom has endeavored to bring attention to the site, and recently has stepped up its push to build a $25 million First Freedom Center at the site. Spearheading the effort is Stephen Elliott, who in 2001 left Colonial Williamsburg to become the Council's executive director.

"It was the most exciting project I was aware of in the museum field," said Elliott, who after 28 years at Colonial Williamsburg says he was ready for a change.

Elliott says the idea of building an exhibition center on the Virginia Statute site has been received favorably by the Richmond community.

"People who have been aware of the site and its historical significance have been delighted to see the plan emerge," said Elliott. "As the idea has reached the ears of those not so aware of it before, it has also gotten wonderful support."

The Council has acquired the entirety of the original 18th Century site that was occupied by the Capitol, as well as some adjacent property. In the Spring of 2006, the Council will move into new office space on the first floor of a renovated building on the corner of 14th and Main streets.............

...............As for the exhibition center itself, Elliott envisions a facility which takes advantage of emerging multimedia technologies.

"This won't be an artifact-based exhibition hall, but an interactive one. There will be a lot of exhibit components where you select what you want to look at or you call up the action. There will be tons of video and multimedia elements.

"In terms of content, this is an education center that will tell the history part of the story, but will also connect these ideas to people's lives today. It will enable them to dig down into issues they're wresting with in their own lives to get at the root of the matter."

article

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