Although I have resided near Monticello and UVA on-and-off for more than thirty years, I never took the time to stroll with Mr. Jefferson on his Grounds at the University of Virginia—until yesterday. Even though a slight drizzle was about, the light was simply divine for photography, and my time had come.
Fortunate to find parking near Grounds this holiday weekend, I first visited the Ansel Adams exhibition at the Fralin Museum, then took off towards the majestic landscape and buildings known as “an Academical Village.”
Fall color arrives near Grounds
the University ~ on the UNESCO list
paths to knowledge
The Rotunda is the focal point of the Academical Village and is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. The Village is comprised of ten faculty pavilions; the Pavilion Gardens; student rooms along both sides of the East and West Ranges; and six Hotels which served as dining halls. These buildings continue to be used as Jefferson intended.
The designer himself ~ Thomas Jefferson ~ “father of the University”
classic details prevail
flanking the lawn
inside the Rotunda, the former library housed a collection of books initially selected by Jefferson himself.
a unique detail ~ a fireplace built mid-way up the staircase
Jefferson’s favorite view of the South Lawn through the portico’s double inside glass doors. He visited here one last time only days before this death.
magnificent restored stair rail system
Cleverly placed bookcases in the Dome Room disappear behind the room’s columns when viewed from the center of the room
The oculus is the Dome Room’s crown.
seating in the center of the Dome Room.
The life-sized statue of Jefferson overlooks the entrance to Grounds
another view of the complex staircase leading to the Dome Room. The restoration took four months to complete.
The East Oval Room, originally a lecture hall, is now the meeting chamber of the governing body, the Board of Visitors.
map engravings from the 1800’s hang in the North Oval Room.
Mantel décor in the North Oval Room.
close up of mantel clock
oval rooms were fitted with oval tables
pine doors are given their inlaid mahogany appearance by a painting process called “graining.” This was a very popular technique used during the 19th century. Inexpensive, local woods could be used, sidestepping the costs of imported versions.
another detail of pine wood “graining.”
just outside the Rotunda’s doors stands one of many couples recently married on Grounds.
two small ovens were discovered during the 1970’s restoration of the Rotunda. This confirms that the Lower East Oval Room was the site of early chemistry classes.
another classroom at recess
Ground floor detail of Rotunda
heated debate topic published on the cover of the Cavalier Daily ~ the paper of the University
one of the Hotels along the Lawn
classic architectural details abound
student rooms along the Lawn. Edgar Allen Poe resided in one.
serenity abounds and details please the eye
notice the structural landing between floors
easily transported back in time, these Grounds convey the past
classic fretwork under overhang
another brick pathway joins the Grounds
serpentine walls undulate often around Grounds
quiet outdoor spaces abound for student enrichment
a well-defined garden found within another walled space
the privies on Grounds. Daresay, I did not open a door.
simple adoration for these walls
hyacinth bean climbs historic walls at the University
gates are another delightful garden feature on Grounds
my eyes never tire of gates
rear view of privies
the real ball and chain ~ simple yet oh so functional
symmetry in action supports perspective
intersecting paths lead thousands to higher knowledge
We must not forget that without the hundreds of laborers, both free and enslaved, neither Monticello nor the University would exist.
To all those unnamed, you are not forgotten.
Copyright © 2013 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved