The Valentine Renovation
THE VALENTINE has been the city of Richmond’s history museum for more than 100 years. The facility is comprised of four houses of varying periods, including the restored Wickham House, a National Historic Landmark property; the Cecil House; and the Valentine Row Houses. The Owner sought to enliven the primary public spaces on the first and lower levels with a contemporary aesthetic that is sensitive to the historic character of the existing museum.
Glavé & Holmes Architecture (G&HA) successfully altered the interiors to conceal previously exposed infrastructure, thusly creating refined spaces that retain a contextual consciousness to their historic provenance. Exterior windows were reopened to the interior and now boost filtered glazing, which make the entire facility feel more open and inviting. Gallery spaces were expanded and reorganized to include a new community gallery, orientation gallery, and improved permanent and special exhibition galleries. Additionally, the education areas and other public spaces, such as the entry/reception and the museum shop, were completely renovated to embody the new image of The Valentine.
The overall impact of the renovation has been remarkable both for the museum and the surrounding neighborhoods. The Valentine has seen a 30 % increase in visitation since the reopening and a significant rise in the frequency of community-centered events.