The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s recent blog post features The Menokin Project. Thanks to Meghan O’Connor for an excellent article.
Meghan was one of a group of four interns from American University that assisted the Foundation with interpretation strategies and ideas.
Menokin and The Octagon House are linked across
the centuries through historic events, a family and a love of architecture. Step inside their history and be immersed in an exhibit of revolutionary plans for their future in the Country House, City House exhibition.
The AIA Foundation (which operates The Octagon House) and The Menokin Foundation share a common mission: to encourage and educate the public and the architecture profession about the preservation of great design of the past, and the creation of great design for the future. That mission is made tangible through this collaborative exhibit.
The exhibit is comprised of three parts:
Thursday – Saturday, 1-4pm
Private guided tours are available during other times by appointment. Tours last approximately one hour, and are $10/adults and $5/students.
Truth be told, the thought to compare the two had never occurred to me.
But it did occur to Ed Slipek, Senior Contributing Editor of Style Weekly Magazine when he recently visited the Menokin Revealed exhibit at the Virginia Center for Architecture.
In his article Material World in the current issue, Slipek focuses on the importance of making the open call for plans and ideas when undertaking a large project such as the Shockoe Bottom proposed baseball stadium.
The lesson of ‘Ruins, Memory and the Imagination: Menokin Revealed‘ is: How do we know a good solutions unless they’re set up against alternatives? Wouldn’t it be great to have 11 more design proposals for Shockoe Bottom? The process might make us crazy, but then again, it could produce something quite worthwhile.
While Menokin Revealed was an academic exercise for the Harvard Graduate School of Design students of The Menokin Project’s lead architect, Jorge Silvetti, their ideas and images are thought provoking and inspiring.
In the spring of 2013, architecture professor Jorge Silvetti led twelve Harvard Graduate School of Design students through an exploration of the complex design and interpretive questions surrounding the c. 1769 Menokin site.
Discover the students’ innovative solutions for the evocative crumbling ruins and surrounding landscape at this 500-acre site in Virginia’s Northern Neck.
This exhibit will feature images of the final concept presentations of the students of the spring studio course. Curated by Jorge Silvetti, the show will feature graphics designed by Carmine D’Alessandro and custom exhibit panels designed and produced by Forrest French.
Visitors will be introduced to the exhibition with an overview of The Menokin Project, putting the work of the students into context of the revolutionary thinking that Menokin inspires. It’s easy to understand that inspiration when reading the observations of the students during their time here…
Bios of the students and descriptions of the Design Program at Harvard in which they participate will also be highlighted.
The exhibit will run from January 30th until April 27th at the Virginia Center for Architecture in Richmond, VA.
Once the home of Declaration of Independence signer Francis Lightfoot Lee, now the evocative crumbling ruins of an 18th century mansion in Virginia’s Northern Neck, Menokin aspires to a future like no other among American Revolutionary sites and conservation efforts.
Menokin is a multi-faceted place, rich in heritage and stories. The site spans 500 acres of land in close proximity to Washington, DC and other major cities and historic sites. At its center is the revolutionary rehabilitation of the Menokin house.
Remaining historical elements and some extracted structural materials from the house will be reinstalled, along with the beautiful woodwork that was removed before the house collapsed in the 1960s. The missing exterior walls, roof, and floors will be recreated in glass and steel to protect the remaining historic fabric, to restore volume and space, and to provide exhibit areas.
Architect Jorge Silvetti and his internationally known firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates leads an interdisciplinary team that has developed our plan. The Glass Project serves as the ultimate case-study in architectural innovation and moves beyond just breaking the mold of the traditional historic house museum. The real potential of Menokin lies in the opportunity to approach its preservation and interpretation in a truly innovative and revolutionary way, embodying the spirit of the place and Francis Lightfoot Lee himself.
Well, officially we’re not IN the glass house yet. But it is certainly in us, as well as within a dedicated group of supporters and friends who came to the official Menokin Project Model unveiling party on Friday, October 4th.
Menokin Trustees and staff, Union First Market Bank Officers and Board Members, and guests, gathered on the lawn at the house site to celebrate the arrival of the model in style.
Designed and fabricated by Machado and Silvetti Associates, LLC, the model will play a significant role in teaching about, and raising money for, the strategic rehabilitation of this National Historic Landmark.