Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer, an associate professor at University of Mary Washington, sheds light on the Rising Sun Tavern at a behind-the-scenes tour in August.

Michael Spencer will give a talk about Charles M. Robinson’s designs for institutions of higher education in Virginia at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, 2501 Monument Ave., Richmond.

Robinson was an American architect who was a prolific designer of public school and university buildings in Virginia. With his revival and new building designs on the campus of William & Mary, he intended to combine 20th-century utility and 17th-century charm by preserving the feeling of Early Colonial architecture while still making structures that were modern in plans and materials.

He was also the public school architect of the Richmond Public Schools from 1910 to 1929, and designed buildings for James Madison University, Radford University, Virginia State University and the University of Richmond. Many of his works have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Spencer chairs the University of Mary Washington’s Department of Historic Preservation where he is an associate professor. His classes and interests have provided him the opportunity to delve into University of Mary Washington history as well as local Fredericksburg, Virginia building history including the documentation of historic agricultural structures within the Rappahannock River valley.

Tickets for the talk are $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. To register, visit branchmuseum.org.

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407

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