Civil War center tops new Richmond sites

RICHMOND, Va. -- This city can boast of several new attractions.
  • The National Park Service opened the Richmond Civil War Visitor Center in the historic Tredegar Iron Works building in June.
  • With three floors of exhibits, it provides an orientation to Richmond's Civil War battlefields and related historic sites and museums. The Web site is at www.nps.gov/rich.

    The center replaces the Chimboraco Visitor Center, which the park service continues to operate as a Civil War hospital museum.

    Tredegar, the Confederacy's main armaments factory, is at one end of the James River/ Kanawha Canal Walk that opened in spring of last year. The canal walk is part of a 32-acre riverfront rejuvenation project that is attracting restaurants, businesses and visitors.

  • The Children's Museum of Richmond moved to a new site adjacent to the Science Museum of Virginia last April, expanding from 8,000 square feet to 42,000 square feet.
  • It features a range of interactive exhibits, providing kids such experiences as trying on eagle's wings, exploring a cave and wiggling through a digestive tract. The museums' Web site is at www.c-mor.org.

  • Maymont, a 180-acre country estate, opened a high-tech Nature Center, featuring a 125-foot series of linked aquariums, a 3D model of the James River and a 20-foot waterfall.
  • The center also has orientation rooms, exhibits, an indoor cafe and a gift shop. The Web site is at www.maymont.org.

  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden opened a 23,000-square-foot visitors center with a gift shop, meeting and dining facilities, gallery space for exhibits and an entrance for group tours.
  • Three acres of new gardens are being developed. The Web site is at www.lewisginter.org.

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