The earliest proposal for creating a broad avenue in Richmond in the City Beautiful manner is the 1888 plan for the division of the Allen Estate. The 18909 unveiling of Jean Antoine Marcie's equestrian bronze of General Robert E. Lee established a central design element. Monument Avenue was reasoned the logical place to honor Lost Cause leaders.
Homes appeared on the avenue after 1903. and Richmond's City Council approved the extension of the avenue west to Boulevard from its original terminus at Allison Street in 1906. As soon as Monument Avenue began to be paved with block pavers in 1907, the avenue drew the city's elite to live, promenade and drive.
What was the City Beautiful Movement?
The City Beautiful movement was an American urban-planning and social welfare effort led by architects, landscape architects and reformers that grew between the 1890's and the 1920's. The idea of organized comprehensive urban planning developed in the United States from the City Beautiful movement which claimed that design could not be separated from social issues and should encourage civic pride and engagement.