A 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 Richmond, Virginia’s picturesque Monument Avenue, which itself is designated as a National Historic Landmark district. In addition, the Branch House is the home of the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.

History

Renowned American architect John Russell Pope designed the Branch House as the home for the prominent financier John Kerr Branch. Designed in 1916 and constructed from 1917 to 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). The Branch House is the only individual Monument Avenue building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was awarded landmark status by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Richmond.

In 2003, the Virginia Foundation For Architecture, Inc. through a subsidiary purchased the landmark as part of its golden anniversary. The Foundation transformed the Branch House into the Virginia Center for Architecture containing professional offices and an architecture museum.  In 2015, the museum’s name was changed to The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.

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 donates 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.

2011: Dominion General Counsel becomes a tenant of the Branch House.

2015: Virginia Center for Architecture changes name to Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.