Mr. Jefferson’s Nightmare

Between the Rotunda and the Corner at UVA there sits a building quite unlike all the others: Brooks Hall. This mysterious edifice was built in 1876 and seems to defy nearly every architectural convention present on the rest of the Lawn. You’ll find no Jeffersonian neo-classical columns here; only a Victorian Gotchic facade that sports creepy animal heads looking out over the windows and the names of natural historians in a stone marquee between the top two floors. Apparently the University thought it to be so at odds with the rest of the Academical Village that it was nearly torn down in the late ’70’s until public outcry stopped the demolition. I wonder how Jefferson would have weighed in on the subject?

One thought on “Mr. Jefferson’s Nightmare

  1. Please tell me this isn’t one of Mr. Stanford White’s creations.
    The daguerreotype-atmosphere you’ve presented is very cool, as are your faded corners. I can almost hear my bustle rustle.
    Methinks you speak to latent respect for this smaller version (of sorts) of the Old Executive Office in D.C.
    Got to give credit to Industrial Age clunkers as they tell what we (until recently) did. Make and spend great gobs of money. Hail to Robber Barons for without them we’d have neither Wright, nor Bauhaus folks, nor Johnson.
    Relative to Tom Jefferson?
    Hey, I notice classical pediments there, and a key or two. And, is that oval plague above the door a tip of the hat to Robert Adams? Possibly if Jefferson got deeply into a newly opened bottle of his old, old port he just might begin to see a little Palladio in those window curves.
    Your use of light gives a sense of hopeful glorification. Is this spoof, or homage? You keep us guessing.

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