University of Virginia

University of Virginia
Colleges In Virginia
Image by Phil Roeder
A view down a row of white columns along on of the Pavilions in the Academical Village at the University of Virginia. Note the stack of wood; the rooms for students in this area have fireplaces.

According to the University’s web site, Thomas Jefferson designed the first buildings to mirror his vision of higher education. As he conceived it, the college experience should take place within an "academical village" where shared learning infused daily life. He developed plans for ten pavilions—stately faculty homes with living quarters upstairs and classrooms downstairs—attached to two rows of student rooms and connected by an inward-facing colonnade. Each pavilion was identified with a subject to be studied and inhabited by the professor who taught that subject. At the head of the shared lawn would stand the library (not, as in most other colleges and universities of the time, a chapel), its dome shape inspired by Rome’s Pantheon and symbolic of the enlightened human mind.

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