Swan White

PRESS RELEASE: Request for Proposals, Architecture & Engineering

Media Contact:
Melissa Abernathy, Communications Manager
804-358-7166, ext. 315

November 8, 2022

Maymont Issues Request for Proposals (RFP) for Architectural and Engineering Design Services for Major Projects to Expand Accessibility, Engagement

Richmond, Virginia – Today, Maymont issued a Request for Proposals for architectural and engineering design services for infrastructure improvements to expand the accessibility, guest engagement features, safety and long-term resiliency of the historic Maymont Mansion and wildlife habitats. The successful bidder will design and coordinate the construction phase for a project funded by an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant is part of the EDA’s American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program, designed to promote and expand regional tourism and outdoor recreation in Virginia. Maymont will raise $2 million in matching funds for the estimated $10 project, to be completed in 2024.

“The EDA grant program is intended to bolster tourism in the central Virginia region, and these funds will help Maymont build resiliency and capacity to handle more visitors more safely, long into the future,” said Parke Richeson, Executive Director of Maymont Foundation. “It’s an incredible opportunity to build on the work we’ve completed recently to expand access and enrich the guest experience at The Robins Nature Center and in the new Stone Barn Welcome Center and historical audio tours. As we approach Maymont’s hundredth anniversary as a public space in 2025, this investment will ensure Maymont continues to delight, educate and inspire people for another hundred years.”

As Maymont approaches its 100th anniversary as a public space, this project is a core part of Maymont 2025, a campaign to dramatically improve the guest experience and ensure long-term resiliency of both the historic collections and environmental education so that even more people can experience the unique charms of this Richmond landmark. Maymont ranks as one of Central Virginia’s top attractions, recently earning Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award, placing it among the top 10% of attractions worldwide for consistently positive visitor reviews. Located in the heart of Richmond, near vibrant restaurant and shopping areas, Maymont is a must-see site for visitors interested in enriched outdoor experiences and connecting with our shared history.

The EDA-funded project encompasses two distinct scopes of work: One scope will replace the roof of the Mansion and modernize its ventilation, fire suppression and safety to protect the building and its collections. The other will enhance visitor experience and guest engagement with the wildlife habitats that house rescued, post-rehab native Virginia species. Habitats for two additional species are part of the plan, which will upgrade and retrofit seven distinct wildlife habitats, connecting them together more fluidly and with added ADA accessibility, expanding the public viewing areas to accommodate more visitors and enhanced education opportunities.

Proposals will be due by December 21, 2022, at 2 p.m., and a mandatory pre-proposal bidder conference will be held on December 8 at 10 a.m. Any firm seeking more information or interested in submitting a proposal should email Owner Representative Shea Willis at swillis@maymont.org, or call 804-358-9492, ext. 340.

By 2025, visitors to Maymont will enjoy the benefits of this and a number of recent infrastructure projects, including renovations to Maymont Farm in 2017, the renovation and expansion of The Robins Nature Center in 2020, and the new welcome center and active learning classroom that opened in September 2022 in the renovated 1908 Stone Barn, supported by a special Commonwealth of Virginia grant to enhance the public’s appreciation of Virginia’s diverse history.

In addition to the rescued wildlife habitats and well-preserved Gilded Age Mansion, the 100-acre estate offers walking paths through landscaped gardens and a historic arboretum, a Nature Center that showcases the James River ecosystem, and friendly farm animals, plus educational programming and community events. In addition, a variety of curated audio tours and programs provide insight and connection with historical narratives from a century ago, cementing Maymont’s place in the center of Virginia’s rich cultural fabric. With free admission to the grounds and outdoor wildlife habitats year-round, all are welcome at Maymont.

Maymont is a well-preserved, 100-acre historic estate overlooking the James River that was given to the public by James and Sallie Dooley, who lived there from 1893 to 1925. Today, Maymont is a welcoming community gathering place, with many unique experiences for all to enjoy, including the historic Maymont Mansion, The Robins Nature Center, an arboretum, formal gardens, and habitats for native Virginia wildlife and farm animals. Consistently ranked one of Central Virginia’s top attractions by travelers and locals alike, Maymont serves over 800,000 guests annually, with free admission to the grounds, plus guided and self-guided tours, seasonal events, programs and rental spaces. Since 1975, Maymont has been maintained and operated by the nonprofit Maymont Foundation, committed to creating programs and experiences that delight, educate and inspire its guests.  

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Note to editors: Photos are available upon request. Email Melissa Abernathy at mabernathy@maymont.org.