June 13, 2024

Monroe Museum to Renovate Garden

The James Monroe Museum has announced plans to renovate its Memorial Garden by spring 2011 into a functional and beautiful space ideal for outdoor receptions and other events.

When complete, the refurbished garden will boast a handsome regraded patio; a custom-designed tent structure; two specially-built mobile bar/catering units; new benches; a water fountain; and planter boxes and pots that will feature seasonal landscaping. The famous bust of President James Monroe by Margaret French Cresson will continue to preside over the renovated garden.

The goal of the garden renovation is to provide the James Monroe Museum with a space for holding its public events. Next summer, the museum will offer a new slate of public programming, including lectures, concerts, demonstrations, teas, wine tastings and receptions.

“Over the last several years, the museum has undergone many changes and improvements that have increased our ability to educate the public about the story of James Monroe,” said Meghan C. Budinger, acting director and curator of the museum. “Renovation of our garden space is one more step in that process. We are very excited about the plans for the space, and we hope that the community will take advantage of all we will soon be able to offer.”

In addition, the garden will be available to rent for private events. Its intimate size makes it the perfect choice for the couple who wants to celebrate their wedding in an elegant way that also minimizes stress and expense; for the family marking a special birthday or reunion; or a group wishing to hold a reception or cocktail party.

Besides privacy and the historic ambiance of downtown Fredericksburg, rental of the garden space will include free admission to the museum for guests on the day of the event and delivery and set-up of tent, chairs and tables. Contact Special Events Coordinator Adele Uphaus-Conner at auphaus@umw.edu or (540) 654-1123 for more information about rental pricing and policies.

The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library is the largest repository in the country of artifacts and documents related to the fifth president of the United States. The museum was first opened in 1927 by Monroe descendants as a place to house their own personal collections, which had been handed down through generations of the family. It is both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Administered now by the University of Mary Washington, it is open daily, except for major holidays, with an admission charge.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.