Year of the Historic Home


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For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                         February 27, 2013

 

Time-Travel through Virginia History

Seven Richmond Sites Partner for Free Weekend to Support “Year of the Historic Home”

 

Richmond, VA—To celebrate the Executive Mansion’s 200th anniversary, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell declared 2013 the commonwealth’s “Year of the Historic Home.”

In honor of this monumental occasion, Richmond’s most renowned historic homes and museums will come together in a collaborative effort to open their doors admission-free to the public.

Exclusively during the weekend of March 23 and 24, 2013, Virginians, Richmonders, and tourists alike can join the city’s prominent historical properties in supporting the Governor and First Lady’s efforts.

For this first-of-its-kind promotion, seven participating sites—Agecroft Hall, the John Marshall House, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Virginia House, the White House of the Confederacy, Wickham House, and the Wilton House Museum—will offer complimentary admission to visitors who have a printed Time Traveler Passport* from the Year of the Virginia Historic Home website (www.historicalhomes.virginia.gov). This special offer equates to a more than $55 per person savings.

“My husband and I were excited to announce 2013 as the Year of the Virginia Historical Home to coincide with the bicentennial of the ExecutiveMansion,” said First Lady Maureen McDonnell. “Promoting this initiative through the collaboration of seven historical homes during the weekend of March 23 is a perfect way to celebrate Richmond’s rich history. We encourage you to print your passport and visit some of the city’s greatest treasures that once housed such prominent Americans as John Marshall, Jefferson Davis, and Edgar Allan Poe.”

Agecroft Hall and Gardens, home to Richmond’s Tudor house, was first built in England in 1500. Disassembled, it was then transported across the Atlantic Ocean and rebuilt in Richmond as a home in the 1920s. Today, it is a museum furnished with art and artifacts from 17th-century England from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Located just west of Carytown in the Windsor Farms neighborhood at 4305 Sulgrave Road, the House sits on twenty-three acres of gardens and ground overlooking the James River. Agecroft will be open Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (804) 353-4241 or visit www.agecrofthall.com.

The John Marshall House, built in 1790 in the fashionable Court End neighborhood of Richmond, was the home of the Great Chief Justice for forty-five years. Listed on the National and Virginia historic registers, the John Marshall House has undergone remarkably few changes since Marshall’s lifetime. The property remained in the Marshall family until 1911. It is currently owned and operated by Preservation Virginia. Visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the house, stroll the garden, and visit the Museum Shop on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. The John Marshall House is located at 818 East Marshall Street. For more information call (804) 648-7998 or visit www.preservationvirginia.org.

Opened in 1922 in The Old Stone House, the EdgarAllanPoeMuseum is only blocks away from Poe’s first Richmond home and his first place of employment, the Southern Literary Messenger. Richmond’s Poe Museum boasts the world’s finest collection of the famous poet’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia, and personal belongings. The museum provides a retreat into early nineteenth-century Richmond where Poe lived and worked. It features the life and career of Poe by documenting his accomplishments with pictures, relics, and verse, and focusing on his many years in Richmond. The Poe Museum will be open Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 1914 East Main Street. For more information, call (804) 648-5523 or visit www.poemuseum.org.

Formerly a 16th-century English manor, Virginia House was dismantled and relocated to Richmond in 1925. It was the home of Ambassador and Mrs. Alexander Weddell from 1928 to 1948. Virginia House—now a museum owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society—is preserved much the same as it was when the Weddells resided there. The house features English and Spanish antiques, silk draperies, Oriental carpets, and fine silver and china. The eight acres of grounds designed by landscape architect Charles Gillette overlooking the James River showcase close to 1,000 types of flowers and ornamental plants. Virginia House, located at 4301 Sulgrave Road, will be open Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (804) 353-4251 or visit www.vahistorical.org.

A National Historic Landmark, the White House of the Confederacy was the executive mansion of Jefferson Davis. It has been meticulously restored to its wartime appearance, when it served as the social, political, and military center of the Confederacy. The White House of the Confederacy is located at 1201 East Clay Street and will be open Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (804) 649-1861 or visit www.moc.org.

The Wickham House, built in 1812, is a spectacular example of 19th-century Federal architecture and displays some of the country’s finest examples of interior decorative painting. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the Wickham House, built by John Wickham, illustrates the lives of one of Richmond’s most prominent families. The Wickham House was purchased by Mann Valentine, Jr., and in 1898 became the first home of the Valentine Museum. The house is located at 1015 East Clay Street and operated by the Valentine Richmond History Center. It is open Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (804) 649-0711 or visit www.richmondhistorycenter.com.

Wilton, an authentic lower James River plantation house, is an impressive example of 18th-century architecture. Built circa 1753, this Georgian manor house was the home of Virginia’s prominent Randolph family. It was purchased by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1933 and was reconstructed along the banks of the James River, fifteen miles west of its original location. Wilton House Museum boasts an exquisite collection of Colonial and Federal period furniture, decorative arts, and historic artifacts. Wilton House Museum will be open Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 215 South Wilton Road. For more information, call (804) 282-5936 or visit www.wiltonhousemuseum.org.