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