AAA Editor Notes
University of Virginia is in the center of town on US 29 and US 250 Bus. Rtes. Thomas Jefferson founded this “academical village” in 1819 and devoted his final years to its design, construction and curriculum. The state university opened in 1825 with 123 students and a hand-picked faculty of American and European scholars.
Seeking to create an environment in which learning infused daily life, Jefferson planned the school with 10 pavilions built around an expansive lawn. Each pavilion contained a professor’s home and classrooms, with students’ quarters interspersed between the pavilions. At the heart of the campus grounds is the Rotunda, a domed library modeled after the Pantheon in Rome; a highlight is Alexander Galt's 1860 statue of Jefferson made out of Carrara marble. The university design also is considered an outstanding accomplishment in American architecture. Edgar Allan Poe was among the students who attended dinner at Monticello before Jefferson’s death in 1826.
Guided tours are available.