If Walls Could Talk
SECRETS OF THE ACADEMICAL VILLAGE
As stewards of the Jeffersonian Grounds, we must care for a wide variety of 200-year-old buildings and landscapes.
The longer we postpone maintenance, the more likely we are to see buildings and landmarks being closed or vacated for repair, and the more expensive those repairs will be. Our shared history compels us to invest now to preserve UVA’s rich legacy for future generations. Stories abound within the buildings and spaces of the Academical Village. Only through continued use of the historic district as residential, academic, and social space will we have our own stories to tell—for the next 200 years.
The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society was founded on July 14, 1825, in Room 7, West Lawn, and the society remains one of the oldest continuously existing collegiate debating societies in America.
The oldest artifact on the lawn predates Jefferson’s birth. Erected in 1415 at Merton College, the Merton Spire was given to UVA in 1927 and now rests in the Pavilion VI garden. Perhaps members of UVA’s secret societies perform secret rituals around the spire as candle wax residue has been found covering parts of this historic artifact.