The Branch Museum – What’s the 2501?
What’s the 2501?
Welcome to a new day at The Branch Museum! After temporarily closing our galleries in September, we have been working to bring together speakers and ideas for three new webinar series. The Branch House Restoration Series will bring you into our ongoing restoration on our beautiful 101-year-old Branch House. Through five webinars we will provide an opportunity to go where the public generally cannot explore: the roof and chimneys, the beautiful plaster work, and even the inner working of the pipes and plumbing, as well as the history of the House.  Architecture in Dialogue explores the architectural design process, Six webinars take you to the place where great architecture begins – the community needs, the dialogue where ideas germinate, and the resulting solutions for 21st century needs. Dialogues with Artists will be an ongoing discussion with our artistic community, exploring their work and design processes.
What does “pay-what-you-can” mean? I hope you will consider making a $10 or $20 donation when you register for a webinar. We’ve made a lot of changes at The Branch to adjust to the impact of the pandemic and resulting shutdown and reduction of our income. However, we still have significant ongoing costs for staff and the House, so all of us at The Branch appreciate your support at whatever level you are able to give.
The exciting part of these webinars is that they have expanded our ability to bring you great speakers and interesting topics from both inside Richmond and well beyond previous boundaries. Please read on and register for our new virtual offerings.
Penelope C. Fletcher
Executive Director
Architecture and design must begin in dialogue. The consideration of multiple issues and the inclusion of all voices is necessary to ensure that the built environment truly serves and uplifts the entire community. This need for input and involvement is especially important at a time when, whether through shifts in social norms or more sudden upheaval due to climate or disease, the built environment must change to be at once resilient and sensitive.
Hosted by The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, this webinar series examines several topics that underscore the importance of this dialogue. Panels for each webinar include individuals from a variety of fields to engage with these challenging topics from the perspective of their discipline and experience. There will be opportunities for attendees to comment and ask questions.
October 14 | 6:30 PM
How do we create places that are meaningful and inclusive in a community? In light of the recent removal of several Confederate statues on Monument Avenue, these newly vacated public spaces have been, or will need to be, re-imagined and remade into places that reflect Richmond’s values. Kicking off the Architecture in Dialogue series, this webinar brings together several subject matter experts and stakeholders who will examine the concept of placemaking and its relevance on Richmond’s “Grand Avenue.”
  • Nick Cooper, Principal and Design Director, HKS Architects and AIA Richmond President
  • Zena Howard, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal and Managing Director, Perkins&Will (North Carolina)
  • Burt Pinnock, FAIA, Principal and Chairman, Baskervill Architecture and Planning
  • Noah Simblist, Associate Professor and Chair of Painting and Printmaking, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Julie Weissend, LEED AP, Dovetail Construction and Monument Avenue Resident
  • Stephanie Burr, Education Manager, The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
Registration is “pay-what-you-can”
October 28 | 6:30 PM
Richmond’s East End consists of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, as well as some of its most under-resourced. A multi-partner revitalization initiative seeks to address the issues of poverty, social justice, and lack of access to healthy food, education, and opportunity that have impacted the area for years. In this webinar, panelists will discuss how these community needs led to the recent completion of one part of this initiative, The Kitchens at Reynolds.
  • Chris McVoy, O’Neill McVoy Architects (Brooklyn , NY)
  • Beth O’Neill, O’Neill McVoy Architects (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Steve Markel, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Markel Corporation
  • Stephanie Burr, Education Manager, The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
Registration is “pay-what-you-can”
Upcoming Webinars in the Series:
  • Healing Spaces — How the Coronavirus May Impact the Built Environment | Thursday, November 19
  • Adaptive Reuse in the Old Dominion (and Beyond) | Thursday, January 28
  • Ecological Resiliency and Design Inspiration — The 2019 Aga Khan Award | Thursday, February 18
  • Climate Change, Inequality, and Sustainability in Richmond | Thursday, March 11
This webinar series will offer an in-depth look at the restoration of The Branch House on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. The Branch House, designed by John Russell Pope, is of national significance architecturally. Join us as we explore the history of the Branch House and the Branch family. Enjoy the opportunity to have a front row seat that allows you to see areas of the House that are not open to the public. Get a close-up look at the restoration that is underway on the roof, wood trim, decorative plaster, chimneys and pipes. Learn from some of Virginia’s best artisans, craftsmen, architects, architectural historians and Branch family members as you go on a five-part journey of exploration through the restoration of one of Richmond’s outstanding architectural treasures. 
October 21 | 6:30 PM
Designed by John Russell Pope, the Branch House and Gardens occupy half a block in Richmond’s Fan District. This webinar will explore the history of the House and Monument Avenue, critical choices for the location of the House and the architect; the significant role the House and the Branch family have had in Richmond’s history. And we will begin to explore the challenges of restoring one of Richmond’s great architectural treasures.
  • Walter Dotts, Trustee, Old House Authority and great-grandson of John Kerr Branch and Beulah Gould Branch
  • Sarah Driggs, Curator, Author, Editor
  • Penny Fletcher, Executive Director, The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design
  • Lena Sweeten McDonald, National/State Register Historian, Virginia Department of Historic Resource
  • Susan Reed, AIA Director of Historic Preservation, Galvé & Holmes Architecture
  • Gibson Worsham, Galvé & Holmes Architecture, Architectural Historian
Registration is “pay-what-you-can”
November 11 | 6:30 PM
The Branch House decorative plaster is some of the most beautiful plasterwork in Virginia. Unfortunately, the century since the House was built and water intrusion have caused significant damage. You will see up-close views of the beautiful plaster figures and decorations, including the toll that time has taken on the plaster, and you will discover the history of plasterwork in the early 20th century, particularly in Richmond, as well as learn from a dedicated craftsman how this work is being saved at the Branch. The challenges of restoration are best shown in the work to save our decorative plaster.
  • Walter Dotts, Trustee, Old House Authority and great-grandson of John Kerr Branch and Beulah Gould Branch
  • Rebekah Jamerson, Master Plasterer, All Things Plaster
  • Gibson Worsham, Galvé & Holmes Architecture, Architectural Historian
Registration is “pay-what-you-can”
December 2 | 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The roof and windows are defining features of the Branch House. The diamond patterned windows enhance the medieval character of the building, the exterior woodwork relied on skilled craftsman to make adjustments on-site like medieval carpenters, and the roof system is a series of pitches with slate and flat surfaces now with modern coatings. But these features are more than beautiful; they have to keep water out and their wear is showing. Our panel of experts will discuss the challenges of repairing building elements that pose the greatest risk to water infiltration that can either be highly visible or obscured.
  • Sam Daniel, Daniel & Co.
  • Walter M. Dotts III, Trustee – Old House Authority, and great-grandson of John Kerr Branch and Beulah Gould Branch
  • Scott Taylor, ES Taylor Studio
  • Maurice Franck, Saunders Roofing 
  • Brad Jones Jr., Buckingham Slate
  • Fred Esenwein, Ph.D., Glavé & Holmes Architecture
Registration is “pay-what-you-can”
Upcoming Webinars in the Series:
  • The Branch House Brickwork & Mortars | Wednesday, January 13
  • The Restoration Dialogue – Solving the Unknowns of Preservation and Restoration – The Branch House Pipes | Wednesday, February 3
The Branch will conduct an ongoing dialogue with many of the artists we work with, exploring their art and getting a very personal view into their work. Some of our artists have been creating art for many years. Others are just on the cusp of what promises to be a long and productive career. Each has a unique perspective and approach which we will explore in these webinars.
When & Where
Fri, Oct 2, 2020 - Thu, Oct 15, 2020
The Branch Museum of Architecture & Design
2501 Monument Avenue
Richmond, VA 23220