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Virginia Historical Society and Center for Virginia History (Battle Abbey–Confederate Memorial Institute)

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Battle Abbey–Confederate Memorial Institute
1911–1921, Bissell and Sinkler; Warren A. Manning, landscape architect. 1960, building expansion, Carneal and Johnston. 1991, reading room auditorium, Glave, Newman, Anderson. 1997–1998, Center for Virginia History, James Glave and Associates. 428 N. Boulevard

The Confederate Memorial Institute held a national competition to create an archive for records associated with the Lost Cause and a structure to memorialize southern valor. Ironically, a northern firm won the competition. The building (subsequently named Battle Abbey) consisted of a classical temple set amid large formal gardens that extended from the Boulevard to Sheppard Street. Subsequent additions have all but obliterated the original landscaping. In the west wing of the building is a series of murals titled The Four Seasons of the Confederacy, one of the most important public art projects in the history of Richmond, executed by Charles Hoffbauer as a part of the original building design. In 1958 the merger of the Confederate Memorial Institute and the Virginia Historical Society resulted in three major expansions of the building. The most important of the society's expansions is the Center for Virginia History addition, which has nearly doubled the size of the building. The Boulevard facade of the addition partially extends the classical detailing of the Bissell and Sinkler facade. The Kensington Avenue face of the addition is a strong design presence.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Virginia Historical Society and Center for Virginia History (Battle Abbey–Confederate Memorial Institute)", [Richmond, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 264-264.

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