The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Maymont Park

Richmond

VA

USA

Contributed by 
Ariele Foster
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
May 29, 2002
December 14, 2017

A 100-acre former Victorian estate with an opulent mansion, gardens, beautiful landscapes and outbuildings, a Nature Center, Native Virginia Wildlife Exhibits, a Childrenëâs Farm and a Carriage Collection

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This place is gorgeous! Strolling around Maymont is part of a perfect day for families, lovers, friends, or individuals. They have beautiful animals, including bison, bobcats and eagles. The Japanese gardens and Italian gardens are breath-taking and a fun waterfall (good for climbing around) functions in the summertime.

Access & Linkages

Maymont Park is accessible to those who drive, bike or bus. Actually, it is a short walk from a popular shopping area, too (Carytown). To circulate about requires a good deal of walking - but of course that depends on how far you want to walk. Paths are paved, with some packed gravel.

Comfort & Image

yes it feels safe, it is clean and well-maintained.

Uses & Activities

There are all kinds and ages of people who regularly use the space - year-round. Some may prefer some sections more than others. It could be difficult to explore for those with walking difficulties and no wheelchair.

Sociability

I would meet friends or coworkers here, host a picnic and definitely show this place to town visitors.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Maymont, a 100-acre Victorian-era estate, was originally the home of Major and Mrs. James Henry Dooley, one of Richmond's most prominent families. The Dooleys had extensively landscaped the grounds and built a large Victorian house filled with an impressive collection of furnishings and decorative arts when the entire estate was left intact to the city of Richmond upon the death of Mrs. Dooley in 1925. Maymont was opened to the public as a park and museum in 1925, and quickly became a major civic attraction, hosting events such as a Christmas celebration when the house and grounds are decorated as they would have been in 1893, replete with carolers and carriage rides. The original park included formal gardens, an arboretum, the DooleyÍs home, and a carriage house, stone barn, and other outbuildings. In 1942, William B. Thalhimer, the CEO of a family-owned department store, created an exhibit of Virginia wildlife habitats, a mini-zoo of sorts, at Maymont. In 1959, more permanent and improved wildlife and outdoor habitat exhibits were funded by the Thalhimer-Virginia Wildlife Foundation, and in 1962, a local horticultural society converted a stone barn on the property into a nature center. In 1982, a childrenÍs farm was built exhibiting domestic animals. A new 26,000 square foot nature and visitorÍs center opened to the public in November, 1999. (excerpted from "Public Parks, Private Partners" 2000, Project for Public Spaces, which features an extensive case study on Maymont.)

Related Links & Sources

Maymont Park
All photos courtesy of Maymont Foundation
Maymont Park
Maymont Park
Maymont Park
Maymont Park
Maymont Park
Maymont Park
Maymont Park

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
Comments
Related Articles & Resources

More Related Articles

The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design