21 March 2010

Richmond with Prof. Wilson

 Monumental Church Interior (Professor Wilson in the center to the right, looking up)

On Saturday, Professor Wilson led a group of Undergraduate and Graduate students on a whirlwind tour of Richmond, Virginia.  It was an absolute blast!!!  Professor Wilson knows everyone and was able to get us into several sites that are normally closed to the public due to ongoing restoration work.  We started the day off visiting the Maymont Mansion and Grounds, a beautiful house designed and built in the mid 19th century.  Thankfully this great site still stands as a loved public museum and park.  The house is spectacular and includes all of its original furnishings and finishes including a bed carved like a giant swan, "modern" tiled bathrooms, and conspicuous consumption displayed in every room.  Next we caravaned to Capitol Square, where we toured Jefferson's Capitol, Monumental Church (which is actually closed to the public), [so I found out that this structure is actually open to the public - by appointment through the Historic Richmond Foundation!  If your visiting Richmond - It is definitely an neat place to visit, as one of the most important American architectural commissions of the 19th century!]  the Old Virginia Medical School and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.  St. Paul's has some of the best stained glass I have ever seen in the United States, several pieces of which were designed by Tiffany.  The altar piece, a replica of Leonardo's Last Supper is also a rare Tiffany mosaic.  Our last stop was at the Branch House.  This 19th century Tudor revival structure now serves at the headquarters for the Virginia Center for Architecture.

The weather was glorious, and everything we saw was interesting!  Thanks to Prof. Wilson and all of our guides for a great trip to Richmond!

  Virgina Capitol, Designed by Jefferson
Rear Facade, Virgina Capitol
Monumental Church
The Monument, Monumental Church (Egyptian Revival)
Crypt of Monumental Church - looking toward the Columbarium
This was where the ashes of those killed during the tragic theater fire were interred.  Monumental Church was constructed on the site of the fire as a memorial to those who died.
Old Virginia Medical School (Egyptian Revival)
Can you spot the Pyramid?  hint:  look behind.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Tiffany Stained Glass, St Paul's
Stained Glass, St. Paul's (Egyptian Revival by a Pre-Raphelite Artist)
The Branch House designed by John Russel Pope (Tudor Revival)


  1. Hi, I am so glad you enjoyed the tour of Richmond. I wanted to let you know that Monumental Church is open for tours by appointment by Historic Richmond Foundation. We are happy to open it, please call 804-643-7407.

  2. Thanks for the update! I am glad more people will get to see this structure!

  3. Awesome pictures! I love the stained glass that is lit so well from the sun! The only thing missing from the post is a picture of Professor Wilson.

  4. Ah - to true - I will remedy that situation!