Monument Avenue Walking Tour
Following the end of the Civil War, Southerners struggled to come to terms with the reality of defeat and personal loss, and created an ideology that came to be known as the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. The Lost Cause is a sociocultural movement that reinterprets the Civil War as a romanticized effort by Southerners to protect and preserve their culture, specifically through minimizing the horrors of slavery. This ideology influenced the landscape of Southern cities through the erection of grand public monuments meant to honor Confederate leaders; being the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia became home to some of the South’s most elaborate Confederate monuments. Developed between 1890-1929, Monument Avenue is a fourteen-block-long, tree-lined residential boulevard between Lombardy Street and Roseneath Road. Six monuments are located along major intersections of the avenue, five honoring Confederate military leaders and one honoring the Richmond-born tennis star Arthur Ashe. Monument Avenue is now a National Historic Landmark Historic District and the nation’s only grand residential boulevard with monuments of its scale surviving mostly unaltered into the present. Presently, the Confederate monuments of the avenue are a highly disputed feature of the city with many residents calling for their removal. The City of Richmond has taken steps through community engagement to evaluate the impact of its Confederate monuments in order to more appropriately interpret these sites. The Monument Avenue Walking Tour begins with the five confederate monuments for J.E.B. Stuart, General Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Matthew Fontaine Maury. The tour ends with the Arthur Ashe Monument, the sixth and most recent monument added to the avenue.