Restoration Projects
The Restoration of Pavilion VII    

The restoration of Pavilion VII, the oldest building in the Academical Village, began in the fall of 1998 and is scheduled to be completed in the coming year. The pavilion is the sixth to be restored and is by far the largest and most complex project undertaken since the University began its historic preservation program in 1984. Encompassing the original Jeffersonian structure, an addition dating from the mid-1800s, and a much larger section built early in this century to provide overnight accommodations for visitors, the project goes beyond bricks and mortar. It also takes in the pavilion’s garden, service yard, side alley, and furnishings.

The West Lawn pavilion rivals the Rotunda in the richness of its history and its day-to-day public use. When its cornerstone was laid in 1817, three United States presidents took part in the ceremony: James Monroe, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. Pavilion VII served as the University’s first library until the Rotunda was completed in 1826 and was known as the Old Library through much of the nineteenth century. Since 1907, it has housed the Colonnade Club, a faculty and alumni organization.

The unprecedented scope of the Pavilion VII restoration presents opportunities as well challenges. The Jeffersonian portions of the building will serve as the University’s version of Blair House, in Washington, D.C., providing elegant quarters for visiting faculty and guests, as well as prime meeting space for the University community. Mr. Jefferson’s university is a destination for many distinguished visitors, ranging from heads of state to leaders in the business world, the arts, and academe. Pavilion VII’s original bedroom and sitting room will serve as a guest suite where eminent visitors can experience life on the Lawn.

Highlights of the Pavilion VII Restoration
Furnishing Pavilion
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Thirteen Lawn Rooms Restored    
West Lawn 21 through 33, the seven student rooms between Pavilion V and VII, and West Lawn 9 through 19, the six student rooms between Pavilion III and V, were restored in the summers of 1999 and 2000 to re-introduce lost details from the 1820s.In addition to installing window sashes and double doors that replicate the originals,the restoration crews reproduced the early woodwork surrounding the fireplaces. They also equipped the rooms with new lighting, fire-detection equipment, and ceiling fans.

The student room restoration program, which began in 1998 with four rooms on the East Lawn, is being funded with the help of former Lawn and Range residents and other alumni and friends of the University. This project will help are ensure that future generations of students share the experience of living and learning in one of the world’s most revered academic settings.

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Archaeology on the Lawn    
Archaeology forms the underpinning for any successful historic preservation program. That’s why the University turned to Benjamin Ford (Graduate Arts & Sciences ’98), principal of Rivanna Archaeology, when a new irrigation system was installed on the Lawn in the summer of 2000. With funding from Jefferson’s Circle, Mr. Ford performed archaeological testing in advance of the extensive trenching necessary for the construction.

The results were rewarding and illuminating. Next to the contemporary sidewalk between Pavilions V and VI, Mr. Ford found artifacts dating to the first half of the nineteenth century, including broken ceramics, glass, nails, and a pipe bowl fragment,all of which suggest a significant level of activity in the area of the cross walks. Traces of an early pea gravel pathway were identified south of and adjacent to this cross walk. A mid-nineteenth-century wooden pipe and a trench used for early water service were also discovered in the same area. At the bottom of the first terrace south of the Rotunda, a single course row of bricks running the entire length of the rise was identified.

Mr. Ford speculated that the row of bricks may have been a visual marker laid out by workers to demonstrate where the rise was to begin. Adjacent to the southernmost walk across the Lawn, Mr. Ford uncovered an earlier brick herringbone sidewalk.

More about Archaeology on the Lawn
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More About Restoration...
New Interdisciplinary Archaeology Course
Restoration Internships
Campaign to Raise Funds for Landscape Endowment
Kenan Challenge II: For a Learning Environment

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