VA -- Richmond -- Monument Blvd (except monuments):
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Wikipedia Description: Monument Avenue
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Monument Avenue, in Richmond, Virginia, memorializes Virginian native Confederate participants of the Civil War and one 20th century Richmond native. "Monument Avenue Historic District" is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On May 29, 1890, crowds were estimated at 100,000 to view the unveiling of the first monument, to Robert E. Lee.
Monument Avenue is the site of several annual events, particularly in the spring, including the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K race . At various times (such as Robert E. Lee's birthday and Confederate History Month) the Sons of Confederate Veterans gather along Monument Avenue in period military costumes. Monument Avenue is also the site of "Easter on Parade," another spring tradition during which many Richmonders stroll the avenue wearing Easter bonnets and other finery or silly outfits.
In 2007, the American Planning Association named Monument Avenue one of the 10 Great Streets in the country. The APA said Monument Avenue was selected for its historic architecture, urban form, quality residential and religious architecture, diversity of land uses, public art and integration of multiple modes of transportation.
Monuments on Monument Avenue:
* Robert E. Lee – equestrian sculpture by Antonin Merciť; unveiled May 29, 1890
* J.E.B. Stuart – equestrian sculpture by Frederick Moynihan; unveiled May 30, 1907
* Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America – sculpted by Edward Valentine; unveiled June 3, 1907
* Stonewall Jackson – equestrian sculpture by Frederick William Sievers; unveiled October 11, 1919
* Matthew Fontaine Maury, oceanographer – sculpted by Frederick William Sievers; unveiled November 11, 1929
* Arthur Ashe, tennis player – sculpted by Paul Di Pasquale; unveiled July 10, 1996
For the monuments depicting Civil War combatants, the statues facing north represent those who died in battle (and thus never safely returned home); the statues facing south represent those who survived the war.
Robert E Lee Monument:
The Lee Monument was the first and largest of the street's monuments. In 1876 the Lee Monument Association commissioned the adaption of a painting done by artist Adalbert Volck into a lithograph. The lithograph, depicting Lee on his horse was the basis for the bronze statue created by French sculptor Marius Lean Antonin Aercie. (The horse was not Lee's favorite wartime horse, Traveller, as some believe.) The cornerstone was placed on October 27, 1887. The statue was cast in several pieces separately and then the assembled statue was displayed in Paris before it was shipped to Richmond where it finally arrived by rail on May 4. Newspaper accounts indicate that 10,000 people helped pull four wagons with the pieces of the monument. The completed statue was unveiled on May 29, 1890. The statue serves as a traffic circle at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Allen Ave (named after Otway Allen, the developer who donated the land to the association.) Lee stands 14 feet high atop his horse and the entire statue is 60 feet tall standing on a stone base.
The site for the statue was originally offered in 1886. Over some opposition, the offer was accepted and later withdrawn when opponents complained that the $20,000 for the Lee Monument was inappropriate because the site was outside the city limits. Richmond City later annexed the land in 1892, but the Depression meant that the Lee Monument stood alone for several years in the middle of a tobacco field before development resumed in the early 1900s.
The Lee Monument is a focal point for Richmond (most popular online maps depict the "Lee Circle" as the center of Richmond although the Virginia Department of Transportation uses the state Capital as its center). In the 1930s the woman called the local newspaper to report that Lee's horse was foaming at the mouth. In 1992, the iron fence around the monument was removed (in part because drivers were unfamiliar with traffic circles and would run into the fence from time to time and force costly repairs). When the fences came down, the stone base became a popular sunbathing spot for those in bikinis. In December, 2006, the state completed an extensive cleaning and repair to the monument.
Matthew Fontaine Maury Monument:
The "Pathfinder of the Seas" monument of Matthew Fontaine Maury is located on the west end of Monument Avenue, closest to the Arthur Ashe monument. The Maury monument is not a Confederate war monument per se, demonstrating little indication of his role in the war.
The figure of Maury faces eastward, toward the Atlantic Ocean that the "Pathfinder of the Seas" charted. He holds in his left hand a pencil and compass and in his right hand a copy of his charts. Beside his left foot is his book, Physical Geography of the Sea, as well as a Bible, indicating the central role that faith played in Maury's life. A globe of the Earth is tilted slightly on its axis behind his head. It represents both land and sea and the lady standing calmly is a representation of "mother nature" between the land and the sea. Around the base of the globe are depictions of people clinging to a sinking boat in bad weather representing the dangers of the sea with a woman in the center and on the right (north) side of the globe there is a farmer, boy, and a dog representing Maury's work promoting land weather service which dates back further than 1853. Maury attended the International Meteorological Organization in Brussels, Belgium on August 23, 1853 where Maury, leading the way for this conference with his ideas of land and sea weather predictions, and representing the United States, promoted his ideas of safety on both land and at sea to many nations which agreed to follow his ideas. Every maritime nation had its ships reporting to Maury at Washington Observatory. These elements represent Maury's work with atmospheric science, to the benefit of all mankind and their enterprises on land and on the sea. Weather warnings and reports had been dreams of Maury during his lifetime up until when he died and he was successful in his work. He thought of the ships at sea as "a thousand temples of science for all of humanity" and believed these brought men and nations closer together in a common self-protection against storms and deaths. There are fish, dolphins, jellyfish, and birds around the monument's perimeter.
This statue was originally to have been placed in Washington, D.C., but was rejected because Commander Maury, along with many other military leaders from Virginia, abandoned their careers with the Union military to support their home state in the Confederacy. The monument was placed in Richmond instead of "Washington City" as it was called in his time.
Arthur Ashe Monument:
The decision to place the statue of Arthur Ashe on Monument Avenue was controversial. Detractors pointed to a lack of correlation between the Richmond native tennis star and Confederate leaders. The monument became a focal point of racial tensions in the city around the times of its commission and its unveiling. Many of the city's majority African American residents cited Ashe's distinguished place in the modern history of the city as a reason for inclusion, while some residents and other parties rejected it as inappropriate for Monument Avenue, which until 1996 only contained statues of men with a relationship to the Confederate States of America.
The controversy over the statue may have been also been driven by design and placement choices. The statue depicts Arthur Ashe holding a book and a tennis racket, with children below him reaching up to him. Some detractors of the monument say that from a distance it appears that he is striking the children with the racket. Ashe's statue is much smaller than those of most of the Confederate leaders, and is the furthest away from downtown Richmond, situated just outside of the city's Fan district. It is also the only monument which faces away from the center of Richmond.
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and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
Directly Related Pages: Other pages with content (VA -- Richmond -- Monument Blvd (except monuments)) directly related to this one:
[Display ALL photos on one page]:
2006_VA_Richmond_Branch: VA -- Richmond -- Branch House (Branch Museum of Architecture and Design) (2 photos from 2006)
2021_VA_Richmond_Branch: VA -- Richmond -- Branch House (Branch Museum of Architecture and Design) (17 photos from 2021)
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1999 photos: Image quality is going to be pretty bad because these are scans of negatives and prints. They were usually taken on a Pentax ME-Super.
One of the things to look out for in this year include the Washington Monument in scaffolding. My vacations this year included a week in Gordonsville, VA as well as two weeks in Tennessee, which included attending my first Fan Fair country music festival.
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