Kenan-Lewis Fellow in Historic Architecture
SUBJ: Comprehensive Restoration Program for the Academical Village
The First Twenty Years
As I prepare to depart the University of Virginia after twenty years of directing the first comprehensive program to restore and renovate the Academical Village, I take this opportunity to summarize the projects mounted during this period. It is my hope that this summary will help those who follow me to understand more fully and quickly the major actions carried out and the thinking behind those actions.
Apart from this summary are four printed-and-bound historic structure reports, commissioned externally for Pavilions I, II, VI and V, and one electronic historic structure report prepared internally for Pavilion VII. Also, construction documents, both drawn and written, and voluminous office correspondence exist for all work.
Principal attention in this era has been given to pavilions. Major interior work campaigns have been completed for Pavilions I, III, V, VI, VII and VIII. Brief and far less extensive campaigns have occurred at Pavilions II, IV, IX and X. Very minor interior work in the nature of minor short-term remodeling has been given to Hotels B and E.
Roof restoration in the manner of Jefferson’s early metal plate roofs (but using stainless steel) has been scheduled independently of other restoration tasks and has occurred at Pavilions II, VI, VII and X as well as Hotels A and F. Prior to recreation of Jefferson’s small plate technology, simple standing-seam steel roofs were resheathed as such at Pavilions I, IV and VIII. Stainless steel roofing applied in standing-seam fashion has also been used at McGuffey Cottage, Levering Hall (attached to Hotel F) and the Poe Alley office building. Slate roofs, none of which are of Jefferson’s time, have been rebuilt at Pavilions III, V and IX as well as all blocks of student rooms fronting the Lawn.
The Rotunda has been the site of periodic interior work, though none of the intensity of the 1973-76 restoration of the interior and replacement of the dome covering. Major work to correct water problems at the Rotunda decks (stemming from work performed in the 1930s) constitutes the largest program there. It is presently underway, now entering the third year of a four-year schedule.
Recreation of early features at student rooms has been underway since 1998, with brief programs of summer work executed at East Lawn, 2, 4, 6, 8, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52 and West Lawn 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33. This summer West Lawn 35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55 will receive the same attention. Separately all Lawn and Range rooms are entering the fourth and final summer of work to completely rebuild electrical systems.
The following chapters of this summary will detail in relatively brief prose form the work undertaken for the projects mentioned above. Within those descriptions, I will also explain the thinking behind the more consequential actions, especially those involving change to building fabric. While acknowledging the value of precise terminology, the reader should keep in mind the sometimes interchangeable use of the two terms restoration and restoration, as reflected in the general use of restoration to describe the overall work program. Context should inform the reader when precise use of terms is implied.