Jeffersonian Tradition or Shoddy Imitation?

The faculty members contend that buildings that have been erected on campus over the last two decades have done a disservice to the Jeffersonian style — Thomas Jefferson founded the university in 1819 and designed the original campus – by attempting to make look-alikes and by paying too little attention to the use of buildings. —David EpsteinJeffersonian Tradition or Shoddy Imitation? (Inside Higher Ed)

The grounds of Seton Hill University are nice, but nothing — nothing compares with the central grounds of the University of Virginia. But once you get out beyond the old campus, the charm fades rapidly. I think the engineering school complex has character, and so do the older clusters of freshman dorms. While I haven’t been to the campus since the remodeling of Cabell Hall, and I’m sure there are other changes I don’t know about.

The Rotunda (which used to house the library) is the heart of the school. It’s based on the design of the Pantheon, a Roman temple which became a church.

When I was in Rome, with a group of students from U.Va. in about 1989, we were standing in front of the Pantheon, and I said, in my best American Tourist voice, “Very Jeffersonian.”

A guy next to me flinched and almost punched me. I have no idea who he was. It was rather amusing.