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The Branch House

Branch House 342x228A National Historic Landmark

Dominion General Counsel, PC's main office is located in the historic Branch House, a building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The famous Tudor-Revival building is located on picturesque Monument Avenue, which itself is designated as a National Historic Landmark district.  In addition, the Branch House is the home of the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation. 

History

Renowned architect John Russell Pope, one of America's major architects, designed the Branch House and grounds as the home for the prominent financier John Kerr Branch.   Completed in 1919, the Tudor-Revival mansion's 27,000-square-foot featured eleven levels; a chapel-like studio; and fireproofing by means of concrete floors and masonry walls. With its long gallery, great hall, commodious library and dining room on the main floor, the house provided ample space for displaying the Branches' extensive collection of European tapestries, textiles, and furnishings.

In addition to the Branch House, Pope designed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  In Richmond, Pope designed the beautiful Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia). His residence for the Branch family is the only individual Monument Avenue building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and awarded landmark status by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Richmond.

In 2003, the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation purchased the landmark as part of its golden anniversary.  The Foundation transformed the the Branch House into offices and an architecture museum. This museum serves the Commonwealth, expands exponentially the Foundation's ability to provide exhibitions and programs to educate and entertain Virginians and visitors, and transforms it from its beginnings as a scholarship fund to a public cultural institution.

Chronology

1919  27,000 sq. ft. residence in Tudor Revival style, designed by John Russell Pope, completed for Mr. And Mrs. John Kerr Branch.

1953   Branch family gives the house to the United Givers Fund, a precursor to the United Way.

1982   House purchased as the headquarters for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company's Richmond office.

1982   Preservation easement granted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources by the new owner.

1984   House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2003   Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation purchases the house.

2005   Virginia Center for Architecture opens to the public and Branch House offices open.

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