In 1916, the famous New York architect, John Russell Pope, designed one of the largest private residences ever built in Richmond. On Monument Avenue, the 27,000 square foot Tudor-Revival house was remarkable not only for its size, but for its purpose.
Pope, whose firm had recently won the competition to design Richmond’s Broad Street Station (any guesses on what’s there now?), also designed the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art and the National Archives. The architect specifically planned the Richmond dwelling to showcase and protect the large collection of Italian Renaissance objects belonging to its owner, a wealthy financier who had been an avid collector since the age of nineteen. With concrete floors and masonry walls, the fireproof house provided a secure and elegant backdrop for the extensive collection of tapestries, textiles, and furnishings that filled it upon completion in 1919.
The Richmond family of five (mom, dad, and three children) lived seasonally, using this residence as their winter home. Now the home of the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Valentine, V.43.59.10