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University of Virginia Campus

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Thomas Jefferson proposed a state-supported university during his term as governor in 1779 and repeatedly returned to the subject over the following decades. Not until after his presidency (1801–1809) did he accomplish the goal. Beginning with a scheme for an Albemarle Academy in 1814, Jefferson and his political cohorts maneuvered the state legislature into establishing Central College in 1817. In 1819 the college was renamed the University of Virginia. Jefferson's design was constructed between 1817 and 1826. What began as a small school for several hundred young men on 196 acres is now a sprawling campus for 18,000 students on about 1,065 acres. The development of the university displays evolving American attitudes toward space, planning, and architecture. In addition to Jefferson, many others, including McKim, Mead and White, Robert A. M. Stern, Pietro Belluschi, and regionally important figures, have designed for the university. The tour is divided into five parts.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.

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