Thursday, November 29, 2012

Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond

While in Richmond I visited the lovely Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The beautiful original building, seen above, was designed in 1936 by Norfolk VA,  architects Peebles and Ferguson in English Renaissance or Georgian style.
Sadly that is no longer the main entrance, but rather a nice but blandly modern addition by London architect Rick Mather from 2010 serves that purpose. I know I know, I'm always baised towards beautiful early 20th century classical buildings, so sue me, it's my blog afterall!
The recent additions include a lot of work to the extensive site which holds a lot of other structures from the former lives of the property.
I admit to loving the landscape and hardscape, especially the water features.
The full length of Mather's addition.
The interior is large, bright, and open and features nicely detailed modern stairs.
It's a huge museum!
If you do a little wandering, you can find the original entryway and stair which is reminiscent of an English country house foyer.
I love this limestone detailing.
And the ironwork and wood railing is beautiful.
This colorful enclosed Roman courtyard in the original building houses an amazing Roman mosaic depicting the 4 seasons. More on that tomorrow when I share some of my favorite pieces from the collection.
As I mentioned the site has had previous incarnations, primarily as the Confederate Soldier's home campus until 1941 when the last resident passed away.
The charming carpenter Gothic style chapel, known as the Confederate Memorial Chapel, was designed by architect Marion J. Dimmock in 1887.
The other large building on the grounds is the Home for Needy Confederate Women (what a name!). 
Designed in 1932 by architect Merrill Lee, the residence was in use until 1989 when the last residents were moved to a nearby nursing facility.
And I know you're thinking it; Yes, Lee based the neoclassical structure on the White House!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Logan Circle House tour

For those of you in DC, don't forget the Logan Circle holiday house tour this upcoming Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 from 1-5.  The neighborhood has an assortment of restored Victorian houses through modern 'loft' apartments so the variety is always interesting and the Christmas decorations are inspiring. Hope to see you there! Tickets are available HERE.picture via WeLoveDC

Monday, November 26, 2012

Windsor Farms, Richmond

I spent the day in Richmond recently and drove through one of the most storied neighborhoods in the city, Windsor Farms.
Developed in 1926 by Thomas C. Williams, Jr.,  the planned neighborhood was originally meant to be created from authentic English Country houses which were to be dismantled and brought across the ocean.
Parliament put a stop to that (seriously) but 2 houses were successfully recreated from ancient British buildings and reside in Windsor Farms, both operating as house museums; Agecroft Hall, above and Virginia House, 2 above.
The rest of the houses were then designed by a who's who of 1920s (and more recent) architects and landscape designers including William Lawrence Bottomley and Charles Gillette.
 Driving through this bucolic neighborhood is as good as a house tour!
It was fun trying to decipher which houses were old and which were newer, as most are kept so immaculate that one can't age them.
 The neighborhood is an architectural dictionary of styles.
 And time periods!
 The houses range from grand estates to smaller residences.
 Everyone had a perfect yard and the old trees add so much character.
 I loved the brickwork on these tudor revival houses.
 I'm always a sucker for a white brick painted house.
 And a picket fence!
If you ever find yourself in Richmond, check out this neigborhood. Stay tuned for future posts on Agecroft Hall and Virginia House!