Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda Receives An A-Plus Renovation; Lauren Walser; National Trust for Historic Preservation

USA – Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville

Thomas Jefferson designed the University of Virginia’s Academical Village to fit his vision for learning as a lifelong and shared experience. Set around an expansive lawn, the village (now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site) included classrooms, dining facilities, and housing.

The centerpiece, though, was the dome-topped library. Known as the Rotunda, it was still under construction when Jefferson died in 1826. After a fire ravaged much of the building in 1895, the interior was redesigned by McKim, Mead and White, and numerous changes and restoration efforts followed—the latest of which was completed this past August.

With UVA’s extensive archives and building documents to guide them, crews replaced the Dome Room’s plaster capitals with wooden replicas of the original carved column detailing. In the north and south porticos, the restoration team replaced the clockworks and the marble column capitals.

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