Kent-Valentine House

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Richmond, VA
United States
Kent-Valentine House

Enveloped by mature magnolias and other lush plantings, this half-acre property is one of the few in downtown Richmond to remain surrounded by trees. Designed by architect Isaiah Rogers for prominent merchant Horace Kent in 1845, the Italianate structure included an elaborate cast-iron veranda. Purchased in 1904, Granville Gray Valentine commissioned the architectural firm of Noland and Baskervill to add a two-story wing to the west side of the house and replace the veranda with Ionic columns. Few additional alterations were made to the property until 1971 when it was protected by a preservation easement and purchased by the Garden Club of Virginia to house offices and events.

Two years after the acquisition, the Garden Club commissioned landscape architect Ralph Griswold to rejuvenate the site with the redesign of the rear garden and the installation of parking. A wooden fence was constructed along the western edge of the property and hollies planted along its length. In 1996, Rudy Favretti redesigned an area adjacent to the parking lot to include a brick-paved entrance court. In 2009 Rieley & Associates reconstructed a deteriorated brick wall, repaired the iron fence that surrounds the property, and redesigned the front walk flanked by planting beds containing rhododendrons, climbing hydrangeas, and camellias. Encircled by crape myrtles, dogwoods, boxwood, and English ivy, the Kent-Valentine House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.