Media Contact: Jim Schepmoes
804-493-8038 ext. 8119
For Immediate Release
STRATFORD, VA, (October 24, 2012) – The Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Inc., announced today the public phase of a $17 million dollar comprehensive campaign that will include further restoration to Stratford Hall’s Great House and gardens, a newly expanded Visitor Center, new electronic based tours, new entrance gate house, endowment funding as well as providing road and trail improvements. The campaign, “Securing A Place for the Past,” has already raised $10.1 million of its $17 million goal.
“We are excited about the impact this campaign will have for the future of Stratford Hall and its visitors,” said Custis Glover, RELMA Board President, and Lee family descendant. “This campaign is not about just a single new building, exhibit, or room restoration, but will ensure a new visitor experience to everyone who visits Stratford Hall.”
At the heart of that new experience will be a $5 million total expanded two-story visitor center and electronic based tours. The new 21,700 sq. ft. visitor center will include a hands-on exhibition area, a permanent and changing exhibition area, meeting, retail, cafe, and office space as well as collections storage space.
The new electronic based “MII” (Mobile Interpretation Initiative) tours being developed will give visitors the opportunity to focus in on areas of their particular interest, including seeing the historic interiors through the eyes of a Lee family member, slave, or museum professional. Visitors will also be able to use the devices to investigate the surrounding landscape. Guided Great House tours will remain on the menu as well for an up-charge.
“Visitors are already beginning to see the impact of this campaign will have on the future of preserving Stratford for future generations,” said Paul C. Reber, Executive Director. Reber noted projects already completed in the Great House include the restoration of the Great Hall, the Parlor, and the North-West Stair Passage, a new geo-thermal HVAC system, as well as restoration of the South-West Outbuilding and Slave Quarters, and upgrades to the on-site lodging accommodations.
Mr. and Mrs. Theordore Price, of Richmond, VA, are serving as comprehensive campaign co-chairs. “We are pleased to be able to announce the public phase of the campaign,” said Carol Price, RELMA Director of Virginia and a past President of the Board. “We are very grateful for the support we have received in the silent phase of this important campaign, and look forward to meeting or exceeding our goal of $17 million.”
“This campaign is truly national in scope,” said Chandler Battaile, Director of Development for Stratford. “Through leadership efforts, we have received donations and commitments from donors in numerous states in reaching the $10.1 million dollar level.”
“We appreciate all the commitment Carol and Ted Price and their committee has shown to move this campaign and Stratford Hall forward, saving a place for the past” said Reber. “This campaign will not only ensure Stratford’s future, but will provide a positive economic impact for the Northern Neck as well.”
About Stratford Hall
Built c. 1738, Stratford Hall is one of the great houses of American and Virginia history. Its magnificent setting on a high bluff above the Potomac River and its bold architectural style set it apart from any other colonial house, but its highest distinction is the family who lived there, the Lees of Virginia. Stratford is the birthplace of Robert E. Lee and home to the only two brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee. Stratford is owned and operated by the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Inc., a non-profit organization that bought the property in 1929. For more information, visit www.StratfordHall.org.