Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Christmas Shopping Season Officially Begins!

Now that Thanksgiving is a memory, the Christmas shopping season is officially in full swing.   Why not stay at Maury Place at Monument for a Christmas shopping weekend?  Take advantage of the many shopping opportunities Richmond offers and then return to Maury Place at Monument for rest and relaxation after a full day of shopping.

One of Richmond's Christmas shopping highlights is The Bizarre Bazaar.  The 36th Annual Christmas Collection will take place from December 1 through December 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Richmond Raceway Complex.   Visit "Murphies" in Carytown for advance tickets and see for further information.

Of course, Maury Place at Monument is within walking distance of one of Richmond's most fashionable and eclectic shopping areas, Carytown, and we offer exclusively to Maury Place guests a card good for ten percent off purchases at select Carytown merchants.  Our two nearby museums, the Virginia Historical Society and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts both have excellent shops for Christmas shopping and both are within walking distance of Maury Place.  In addition, we have our own retail area featuring books about Richmond, jewelry from local artists, Maury Place souvenirs, and more.  Take advantage of our Christmas sale--15% any purchase from our shop!  We would also be happy to assist you in planning a day of shopping at any of our other nearby shopping areas such as Short Pump Town Center or Stony Point Mall.  Happy Holidays!

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

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Boulevard: Another of Richmond's Grand Avenues

Maury Place at Monument is located at the intersection of Franklin Street and Monument Avenue, two of the most historic thoroughfares in our City.  This past Sunday, however, we spent a crisp fall afternoon strolling down another nearby "Grand Avenue,"  the Boulevard.  The Boulevard is located just a few blocks East of Maury Place at Monument, and the Stonewall Jackson monument is located at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Boulevard.   In addition to the Jackson Monument, Boulevard boasts two of Richmond's most significant museums, an attractive mix of architecturally distinguished houses and apartment buildings, and one of our City's largest parks at its most southern point.  

The Boulevard's history dates back to 1817, long before Richmond's western expansion.  The road was originally called Clover Street and was part of the proposed town of Sydney, which never developed.  The street's oldest house is the Robinson House, which today is on the grounds of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  It was built around 1860.  The road grew more prominent in 1875, when it was widened to accommodate travelers going to the recently completed reservoir and park at its southern end.  That park was named William Byrd Park by 1907 and was a destination in itself.

By 1890, the street became known as the Boulevard and began to grow.  In 1884, the Confederate Soldiers' Home was established to house disabled Confederate veterans on land where the VMFA now stands. Construction of Battle Abbey began in 1912 on land adjacent to the Confederate Soldiers' Home, and is now the headquarters of the Virginia Historical Society. Construction of the VMFA began in 1934, and the museum opened in 1936. Residential development of the Boulevard in the area of the museums began around 1912 and continued into the 1930's.   The many architectural styles include Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Craftsman.  Apartment living became fashionable in the 1920's, when many of the street's beautiful apartment buildings were built.  Many apartment dwellers had larger houses in the country, and apartments in the city--many of which were so fancy that they had maid's quarters!

Today, the Boulevard Historic District sits in the heart of some of the City's most prestigious residential and shopping areas, dividing the Fan District from the Museum District (in which Maury Place is located), and Carytown.  Having Byrd Park, the Fan, Carytown, and the museums within walking distance gives the Boulevard neighborhood special appeal.

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Richmond Heroes Among History's Giants

Richmond was home to several heroes that are among the giants of American History.  John Marshall, our nation's first Supreme Court Chief Justice, lived in the midst of what is now our city's courts complex and influenced the development of constitutional law in our nation.  Edgar Allan Poe, who grew up in Richmond, studied at the University of Virginia, and spent much of his career here.  Poe was perhaps one of the most influential figures in the history of American literature, and arguably invented the detective story and science fiction.

Our own Matthew Fontaine Maury, who was known as the Pathfinder of the Seas and the father of modern oceanography, was an experienced seaman and served as the first superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory.  

As editor of the Richmond Planet, one of the country's most influential African-American newspapers, John Mitchell, Jr. launched a crusade against lynching and segregation in the Jim Crow South that inspired a generation of black Americans.  At the same time, Richmond's Maggie Walker became a symbol of the strength and independence of African-American culture as an entrepreneur, community leader, and bank president.  Civil rights advocate and Richmonder Oliver Hill argued Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court and won when the Court in 1954 declared public school segregation was unconstitutional.  

Finally, Arthur Ashe, who was raised in Richmond and played tennis on our City's public courts, broke racial barriers in becoming one of the truly great champions of tennis.  These are just a few American heroes that have strong ties to our own Richmond, Virginia.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb" at the VMFA November 19 to March 11

From the world famous Egyptian collection of the British Museum comes an exhibition that examines death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt.  Human and animal mummies and over 100 objects--a guilded mask, jewelry, canopic jars, monumental stone sarcophagi, statuary, tomb lintels, and more--will immerse visitors in the life and death of a 3000-year-old mummy named Nesperennub, who served as a temple priest.

This stunning exhibition at our own Virginia Museum of Fine Arts takes visitors on a journey all the way back to 800 BC to explore Nesperennub's world through objects found in his tomb--and inside his mummy.  The experience begins with a 3-D film that uses the most advanced scanning technology to "virtually unwrap" the mummy of Nesperennub.  This fascinating process provides insight into life expectancy, health, disease, and funerary beliefs in ancient Egypt, as well as the complex procedures of mummification.  John Taylor, assistant keeper in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum and curator for Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb, states that Nesperennub's mummy was selected for this project because it was completely untouched and Egyptologists knew that his tomb had never been opened.

Mummies have fascinated humans for centuries.  "It's the mystique," Taylor says.  "You are confronting someone from the distant past, a recognizable human being, not just bones."  This special exhibit will run from November 19, 2011 to March 2, 2012.  Maury Place at Monument is just a short walk from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Harvest in a Bottle!

Fall is a glorious season to visit a Virginia winery.  The mild temperatures and breathtaking scenery lure throngs of visitors to our state's wineries.  Beyond the buzz of conversations and clink of glasses in tasting rooms, out there in the vineyards, it is also harvest season, a crucial, exhilarating whirlwind that can foretell the future for Virginia winemakers.  With 220 wineries scattered throughout the state, there are multiple harvests going on every day from August through November.

Virginia ranks 5th in the United States in number of wineries, with over 3000 total acres planted in wine grapes.  The most white grape acreage in Virginia is chardonnay, and the most red grape acreage in Virginia is merlot.  The New Kent Winery's Chardonnay Reserve has been named the Governor's Cup champion for white wines for its 2009 vintage.  The New Kent Winery is just a short drive from Maury Place at Monument.   One of our favorite reds is Barboursville Vineyard's Merlot.  Maury Place at Monument is just a short drive from several Virginia wineries.  Let us plan a tasting tour for you!

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Virginia Historical Society Military Murals Conservation Underway

The Virginia Historical Society has embarked on the conservation of the Charles Hoffbauer Memorial Military Murals.  The effort is supported by Save America's Treasures through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service.  The talented team of conservators from Richmond Conservation Studio have been hard at work restoring the important large-scale pieces of Civil War artwork that were painted between 1913 and 1920.  The delicate work of not only cleaning but also repairing areas where the paint layers are flaking and where glued canvas has detached from the plaster wall will take several years, but the results will be spectacular when completed.  The huge murals that surround gallery visitors on all four walls depict historic Civil War battle scenes.  The Virginia Historical Society is 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