Sunday, August 17, 2014

Maury Place at Monument Awarded 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor!

Maury Place at Monument has again been awarded Trip Advisor's "Certificate of Excellence" Award for 2014. This honor is bestowed to properties that consistently receive five star reviews on the Trip Advisor website.

Maury Place at Monument has been so honored for the past four years, and we are honored to have been recognized by Trip Advisor--and our guests--again this year! Thank you to all of our kind guests who have posted positive reviews of Maury Place at Monument on Trip Advisor!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Regional Tourism Center Coming to VMFA Grounds

The historic Robinson House located on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will soon be renovated and repurposed to include a regional visitor center. The center will be operated in collaboration with Richmond Regional Tourism and is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2015--just in time for the UCI World Championship Cycling event in September of that year.

Robinson House is a handsome Italianate structure that was completed in the 1850's and was once part of a 159-acure estate that belonged to prominent Richmond banker Anthony Robinson, Jr. In 1884, the house and 36 acres were sold to the R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans to become a residence for indigent and disabled veterans. A third floor and a belvedere were added two years later and served as the facility's administration building, war museum, and at times barracks and medical ward. In 1892, Lee Camp sought continued subsidies from the Commonwealth of Virginia to operate the Soldiers' Home. In return, it promised to relinquish the deed to the grounds once the need to house the elderly veterans ended. By the time the last resident died in 1941 and the property reverted to the state, approximately 3000 veterans had resided at the complex. Robinson House served a variety of functions during the next seven decades: offices and labs for the Virginia Institute of Scientific Research (1949-63); offices, art studios, and galleries for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1964-93); and offices for the Virginia Association of Museums (1995-96).

The preservation of Robinson House will stabilize its structure, reclaim interiors to evoke the building's historic past, and renovate the spaces for use as a tourism center. A gallery dedicated to interpreting the history of the site from Native American times to the present is also planned. The house has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and was recently included on the National Register of Historic Places. The Robinson House and the adjacent Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are within walking distance of Maury Place at Monument.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Virginia Museum to Display China's "Forbidden Treasures"

The most important and largest international travel exhibition ever assembled by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will bring the splendor of China's Forbidden City to Richmond this fall. "Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures form the Palace Museum, Beijing" is the most visible product of a seven-year collaboration between the VMFA and Beijing's Palace Museum, the first to be established by any U.S. art museum. The VMFA will become the first U.S. museum to exhibit works from its permanent collection at the Palace Museum. VMFA's famed Faberge collection will go on display in the historic Meridian Gate of the Palace Museum in May 2016.

"Forbidden City" will portray the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties with a focus on the 17th and 18th centuries. Gallery design, dramatic images of the palace, architectural models and video will create an immersive experience, as if passing through the Forbidden City during the height of its glory and splendor. Emperor Qianlong's throne will be at the center of a simulated journey into the buildings and grounds that were long forbidden to anyone other than the emperor's family, officials, and servants. The exhibition will also include some mammoth paintings--some done by the emperors themselves. One of the most stunning objects will be a suit of ceremonial armor from the Qing dynasty. It is made of yellow satin embellished with copper studs with a dragon design embroidered in gold thread.

In addition to the works from the Palace Museum, the VMFA will incorporate items from its own East Asian Collection into the "Forbidden City" exhibit to expand the story of the Qing rulers of China. The treasures will be on display from October 18 to January 11. The VMFA is just a short walk from Maury Place at Monument.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Re-Enactment Series at St. John's Church

One of Richmond's summer "must sees" is the re-enactment of the Second Virginia Convention that met in March 1775 at St. John's Church. St. John's Church is located at 2401 East Broad Street in Richmond's Church Hill neighborhood. The re-enactment of Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech features long term actors, many of whom have played various roles for severel years.

The re-enactment program started in 1975 in preparation for the nation's celebration of the bicentennial, and it now has become a tradition for incoming governors to attend a re-enactment before their inauguration! The music, introduction, and performance last less than an hour, and the event quickly gets to the heart of the debates, fears, and perceptions of  the day. A group of about 25 men rotate among nine "Virginia Patriots" of the day: Patrick Henry, Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Harrison among them. An audience member chosen from the early arrivals plays the nonspeaking role of the rector.

Doors open at 1:15 for the 1:30 performances on Sundays through August 31. The event is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. To learn more, visit The historic St. John's Church averages about 40,000 visitors each year and is just a short drive from Maury Place at Monument.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

About Monument Avenue . . . .

Monument Avenue might be Richmond's crown jewel, but its early years were fraught with uncertainty. In 1893, just three years after the statue of Robert E. Lee was erected near what is now Monument Avenue's eastern boundary, a nationwide economic depression brought the construction of Richmond's grand avenue to a halt. For the next dozen years, the statue of Lee stood in a vacant field beyond the western edge of the city, surveying a large empty span. As the economy recovered, though, construction on Monument Avenue resumed with the first houses going up in 1902. The model was straightforward.

After the Civil War, a wave of admiration of French art and culture swept over the U. S., and Monument Avenue's planners wanted a street that would convey the grandeur of Paris's Champs-Elysees. Instead of the Arc de Triomphe, we have the Lee Monument forming the focal point of the vista. The tree-lined avenue was originally just three blocks long, but over the course of several decades, it extended further west. It now spans five miles from North Lombardy Street in the city to Horsepen Road in Henrico County. Likewise, the number of statutes on Monument Avenue grew to six. The newest monument, which honors Arthur Ashe, was unveiled at the intersection of Monument and Roseneath Road in 1996.

All of Monument Avenue awaits you right outside the doors of Maury Place at Monument, which is located directly across the street from the Matthew Fontaine Maury monument.

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument