The Public Interest

Mr. Jefferson’s university breaks up

David L. Kirp & Patrick S. Roberts

Summer 2002

THE University of Virginia is surely the most architecturally renowned campus in the country.  Among Virginians, it is reverentially referred to as “Mr.  Jefferson’s university,” and indeed that polymath president had a major hand in designing what he called the “academical village.” A miniature version of the Roman Pantheon, the Rotunda, sits at the heart of the early nineteenth-century grounds (the school has a grounds, rather than a campus), flanked by two rows of Federalist-style buildings. The buildings serve as classrooms, faculty residences, and dormitories for seniors, who vie for these coveted places.

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