Virginia Women's Monument

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This October marked the official unveiling of the magnificent bronze statues at Virginia Women's Monument on Capitol Square in Richmond, VA. This monument symbolizes women in Virginia’s history who have made significant, but often unrecognized, contributions in society. While Richmond’s Capitol Square has featured statues of men since the 1850’s, statues representing women have been absent - until now.

The women who were chosen for the monument represent more than 400 years of Virginia history, including: Elizabeth Keckly, dressmaker and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln; Virginia Randolph, educator; Laura Copenhaver, entrepreneur in the textile industry; Anne Burras Laydon, Jamestown colonist; Mary Draper Ingles, frontierswoman; Cockacoeske, Pamunkey chieftain; and Adèle Clark, suffragist and artist. In the near future, five more statues will be added to the monument.

Kenneth Lynch and Sons is proud to contribute to this honorable milestone in creation of key components of the monument: the Bronze Sundial at the center and the Virginia Creeper Railing surrounding the monument. From the time the design process began in Spring of 2018, our team worked closely with Daniels and Company, the project’s general construction management team, in collaboration with StudioEIS and The 1717 Design Group. Our challenge was to portray the intent of the Monument Design Team in the design of the detailed shape of the leaves of the Virginia creeper vine and to portray the boldness of the Cardinal bird as the sundial gnomon.

Kenneth Lynch and Sons was responsible for the fabrication of these components and worked closely with the monument team every step of the way. Samples of patina color were selected with the intent of eventually matching the statues slated for installation after the sundial and railing. Careful calculation of the radius of the glass wall behind the bronze railing was taken into account. With a 22’ long arch, our team created the railing in 5 sections with a barely noticeable connection between each component.

Another interesting detail, the sundial includes a 360 degree (azimuth) horizon scale around the circumference of the dial for the use as a giant and very accurate compass. This detailed compass can be used to identify the direction of the 95 counties and the 38 independent cities in Virginia and their distance from this monument.

Former State Senator and vice chair of the Women’s Monument Commission spoke at the unveiling ceremony, stating that “This monument embodies the goals of the Women’s Monument Commission: not to put women on a pedestal, not to have a mythic or symbolic figure, but to honor real women who did real things in this Commonwealth.”

The intent of the Women’s Monument Commission in creating a space for recognizing women in history is deeply moving for our team. We are thrilled to be part of the design team in making the Virginia Women’s Monument come to life and that all visitors will now experience the importance of women in history in this beautiful space in Richmond’s Capitol Square.

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