Architect John Russell Pope’s Tudor-Revival design for prominent financier John Kerr Branch resulted in a 27,000-square-foot residence featuring eleven levels; a chapel-like studio; and fireproofing by means of concrete floors and masonry walls. With its long gallery, great hall, commodious library and dining room on the main floor, the house, completed in 1919, provided ample space for displaying the Branches’ extensive collection of European tapestries, textiles, and furnishings.

Pope also designed the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the National Archives, and the West Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Broad Street Station (now the Science Museum of Virginia). His residence for the Branch family is the only individual Monument Avenue building listed on the National Register of Historic Places and awarded landmark status by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Richmond.

In 2003, the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation, facing a golden anniversary and a new century, purchased the landmark Tudor-Revival mansion designed by John Russell Pope, one of America’s major architects. This museum on Monument Avenue, serving the Commonwealth, expands exponentially the Foundation’s ability to provide exhibitions and programs to educate and entertain Virginians and visitors, and transforms it from its beginnings as a scholarship fund to a public cultural institution.


1919  27,000 sq. ft. residence in Tudor Revival style, designed by John Russell Pope, completed for Mr. And Mrs. John Kerr Branch.

1953   Branch family gives the house to the United Givers Fund, a precursor to the United Way.

1982   House purchased as the headquarters for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company’s Richmond office.

1982   Preservation easement granted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources by the new owner.

1984   House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

2003   Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation purchases the house.

2005   Virginia Center for Architecture opens to the public.

2015   The mission and vision expands to The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design