November 5, 2014
RICHMOND, VA – The American Civil War Museum has announced an update in its schedule for expansion, according to Board President Dr. Edward L. Ayers. The change allows the museum’s site at Historic Tredegar to remain open throughout 2015, to accommodate Civil War sesquicentennial events in April, the Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships in September, and the Richmond Folk Festival in October.
“The events surrounding the sesquicentennial of the fall of Richmond and end of the Civil War and the bike race are expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors to Richmond during the coming year,” Ayers explained. “The Folk Festival traditionally draws large numbers to Historic Tredegar. From our perspective, it makes good business sense to keep our museum fully operational and begin construction for the new museum building after those important events for Richmond. We want visitors to see the best the city has to offer, including all of The American Civil War Museum.”
The museum plans to construct a major new building on the site of the historic Tredegar Iron Works in downtown Richmond. The new building will feature more than 7,000 square feet of new gallery space for permanent and changing exhibitions of items from the museum’s renowned collections of Civil War artifacts, as well as an “immersion theater” highlighting Richmond’s role in the war.
The 8.9 acre site also will feature a new outdoor exhibit, living history demonstrations, and a new Family Resource Center, to be located in the historic Administration Building. Groundbreaking and site preparation for the outdoor exhibit will take place in early 2015. Those projects, which are scheduled to take six months, also will include a reconfiguration of the site’s landscaping, repair of the historic canal wall and leveling of the grounds on the site’s upper level.
The exhibit galleries at Historic Tredegar will remain open to the public throughout the outdoor construction, including the “In the Cause of Liberty” exhibit in the historic Foundry Building, and the Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center, located in the historic Pattern Building. Groundbreaking and construction for the new building is tentatively scheduled to begin in late 2015.
This month, renovation work will begin at the White House of the Confederacy. Decking on the portico will be replaced, with historically accurate heart pine planking. The portico, which was raised during a previous renovation, will be returned to its original historic height. Other work is planned at the White House, including repair and restoration of the home’s windows and shutters, carpet replacement and other repairs. The White House will remain open during the renovation work.
Formed in 2013 with the consolidation of the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Museum of the Confederacy, The American Civil War Museum is dedicated to exploring the American Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians. The museum comprises three sites: The White House of the Confederacy and Historic Tredegar, both in Richmond, and The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox.