Walter Dotts and Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA

The Virginia Center for Architecture announces today that it has received a pledge of $250,000 from the Richmond-based Elmwood Fund to support its mission and the preservation of its historic home.

The home of the Virginia Center for Architecture is the Branch House, a Tudor-Revival mansion situated at the heart of Richmond’s Monument Avenue.  The house was designed by the New York firm of architect John Russell Pope, FAIA and was completed in 1919; it is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was commissioned by and built as a private residence for financier John Kerr Branch and his wife, Beulah Branch. The Elmwood Fund is a private, non-profit family foundation operated by descendants of the Branch family.

“I feel strongly that the Branch House represents an iconic presence in the city in terms of our family’s history,” says Walter Dotts, administrator of the Elmwood Fund. “If they can be successful in attaining their goals,” he continues, “I believe the Virginia Center for Architecture would substantially benefit the city, state, and local cultural community.”

“We are thrilled to receive the Elmwood Fund’s support,” says Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, the Center’s executive director.  “We believe this generous gift demonstrates the Branch family’s confidence in the mission and direction of the Virginia Center for Architecture, as well as our commitment to stewardship of their family home, an architectural treasure.  Their contribution will allow us to enhance our physical presence in the Fan District and Richmond community, while strengthening our programmatic presence throughout Virginia.”

The Virginia Center for Architecture is located in the Branch House at 2501 Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Fan District. The VCA is dedicated to developing the understanding of architecture and design and their influence on our lives, our communities, and our world, which it promotes through programs, exhibitions, and education. The VCA is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Learn more at www.architectureva.org.

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