Kent-Valentine House

The heart of the Garden Club of Virginia

As a testament to its commitment to restoration and preservation, you’ll find the Garden Club of Virginia headquarters in Richmond at 12 East Franklin St. – the Kent-Valentine House.

While its membership and programs span the entire commonwealth, the hub of the Garden Club of Virginia is the historic Kent-Valentine House in Richmond. GCV acquired the property in 1971, just one year after it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

At the time, many beautiful older homes were being demolished to make way for “modern” architecture, but the Garden Club’s purchase and commitment inspired others to preserve historic properties in the surrounding Monroe Ward neighborhood.

The Garden Club of Virginia uses the entire 15,000-square-foot mansion for various activities: luncheons and private events on the first floor, staff offices and a Board room on the second floor, and a spacious meeting space on the third floor for workshops, meetings, and presentations. 

The house was designed by Isaiah Rogers for Horace Kent, a wealthy merchant, and his wife Elizabeth. Built in 1845 in the Italianate style, it boasted three bays and an elaborate cast iron veranda. Charles Talbott acquired the property in 1877, and Granville Gray Valentine, Sr. acquired it in 1904. He commissioned Noland & Baskerville to add a wing on the eastern side of the house and added stately Ionic columns in the Colonial Revival style. 

Granville Gray Valentine, Jr. and his sisters secured the first preservation easement in the city of Richmond just prior to selling the home to the Garden Club of Virginia in 1971.

The Kent-Valentine House is open annually to the general public for tours during Historic Garden Week.