Architect John Russell Pope’s Tudor-Revival design for prominent financier John Kerr Branch resulted in a 27,000-square-foot residence featuring 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, completed in 1919, provided ample space for displaying the Branches’ extensive collection of European tapestries, textiles, and furnishings.
Pope also designed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia). His residence for the Branch family is the only individual Monument Avenue building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and awarded landmark status by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Richmond.
In 2003, the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation purchased the landmark Tudor-Revival mansion designed by John Russell Pope, one of America’s major architects. This museum on Monument Avenue, serving the Commonwealth, expands exponentially the Foundation’s ability to provide exhibitions and programs to educate and entertain Virginians and visitors, and transforms it from its beginnings as a scholarship fund to a public cultural institution.