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On the Avenue in Richmond

By Linda Tancs

Dotted with Gothic and Classical Revival churches as well as stately homes in the Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial, Tudor Revival, French Renaissance and Italian Renaissance styles, Monument Avenue Historic District is a leafy enclave in Richmond, Virginia.  One of only two National Historic Landmark districts in the city, it’s the nation’s only grand residential boulevard with monuments of its scale surviving virtually intact. The street, extending for some five miles from inner city Richmond westward into Henrico County, takes its name from a series of monumental statues that mark its major intersections. The statue of Virginia native Robert E. Lee is the largest and grandest of them all, featuring a 12-ton bronze statue that is over 20 feet high sitting on a 40-foot-high granite pedestal designed by French architect Paul Pujot. Although the avenue sports its share of Confederate heroes, a notable exception is the Arthur Ashe statue, dedicated in 1996 to Richmond’s native humanitarian, scholar and athlete.

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