You are here

Richmond Hill (Monte Maria)

-A A +A
Monte Maria
c. 1810–c. 1920. 2100 and 2200 blocks of E. Grace St. (south side). Open to the public

These lots at the edge of the hill overlooking the river were the site of prominent early residences in the neighborhood. Richard Adams, who owned much of the hill, built his house here around 1790. About twenty years later, William Palmer built a house nearby, which was sold to William Taylor in 1859. Taylor added a second floor, a cupola, and double porches overlooking the river, creating a much grander house. In 1866 the houses were purchased by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, and the Order of the Visitation of Mary opened a school named Monte Maria in the Adams House. The Romanesque Revival chapel was erected east of the Palmer-Taylor House in 1894–1895. After the nuns received a large donation, they closed the school in 1927 to devote themselves to prayer. The next year the Adams House was demolished to make way for a new dormitory. The nuns maintained a cloistered convent on the site until 1987, when they moved to a smaller, more isolated location. The complex was purchased by a religious organization founded to preserve the site as a place of prayer and worship in the city.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Richmond Hill (Monte Maria)", [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, 199-199.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,