Media: Slideshow

Thomas Jefferson's Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia

South Elevation of the Rotunda

An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the Rotunda, the centerpiece of his design for the University of Virginia. He began this ink-and-pencil drawing of the south elevation of the Rotunda in 1818 and finished it on March 29, 1819. Architectural elements for the building, which housed the university's library, include a portico, Corinthian columns, and a dome with an oculus. Jefferson's plan was inspired by sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio's drawings of the Roman Pantheon.

Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings, University Archives, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

Created: 1818–1819

Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

Library Section of the Rotunda

An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the University of Virginia's original library, which was located in the Rotunda, the domed centerpiece of his design. Jefferson modeled the Rotunda after the Roman Pantheon. When the drawing was made, sometime between 1816 and 1819, the university was still called Central College.

Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

Created: ca. 1816–1819

Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Pavilion No. VII W. Doric Palladio.

Architectural drawings by Thomas Jefferson depict the front elevation and floor plans for Pavilion VII on the west side of the Lawn, the central grassy area on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The front elevation at upper left shows the side of the building that faced the Lawn; the plan for the first floor is beneath it. At upper right is the second floor plan, and at bottom right is the floor plan for the basement. 

Jefferson designed the university as an Academical Village, and the plan included ten pavilions where professors would reside and teach. The overall conception was heavily influenced by the sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, who relied on classical Greek and Roman models. Pavilion VII incorporated Doricportico tops in its design.

Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

Created: Probably July 1817

Medium: Architectural drawing

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Lower Story of Dorick Pavilion

An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the lower portico of Pavilion VII, one of ten pavilions at the University of Virginia where professors would live and teach. The former president designed the University of Virginia, then called Central College, between 1816 and 1819. Construction notes on the drawing indicate the location of the floors, where the top of the window would reach, and where the brick work would stop. Sited on the west side of the Lawn at the University of Virginia, Pavilion VII featured Doric columns.

Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

Created: Probably before 1817

Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Zoom In
  • South Elevation of the Rotunda

    An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the Rotunda, the centerpiece of his design for the University of Virginia. He began this ink-and-pencil drawing of the south elevation of the Rotunda in 1818 and finished it on March 29, 1819. Architectural elements for the building, which housed the university's library, include a portico, Corinthian columns, and a dome with an oculus. Jefferson's plan was inspired by sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio's drawings of the Roman Pantheon.

    Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings, University Archives, Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

    Created: 1818–1819

    Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

    Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

  • Library Section of the Rotunda

    An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the University of Virginia's original library, which was located in the Rotunda, the domed centerpiece of his design. Jefferson modeled the Rotunda after the Roman Pantheon. When the drawing was made, sometime between 1816 and 1819, the university was still called Central College.

    Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

    Created: ca. 1816–1819

    Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

    Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

  • Pavilion No. VII W. Doric Palladio.

    Architectural drawings by Thomas Jefferson depict the front elevation and floor plans for Pavilion VII on the west side of the Lawn, the central grassy area on the grounds of the University of Virginia. The front elevation at upper left shows the side of the building that faced the Lawn; the plan for the first floor is beneath it. At upper right is the second floor plan, and at bottom right is the floor plan for the basement. 

    Jefferson designed the university as an Academical Village, and the plan included ten pavilions where professors would reside and teach. The overall conception was heavily influenced by the sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, who relied on classical Greek and Roman models. Pavilion VII incorporated Doricportico tops in its design.

    Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

    Created: Probably July 1817

    Medium: Architectural drawing

    Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

  • Lower Story of Dorick Pavilion

    An architectural drawing by Thomas Jefferson shows his plan for the lower portico of Pavilion VII, one of ten pavilions at the University of Virginia where professors would live and teach. The former president designed the University of Virginia, then called Central College, between 1816 and 1819. Construction notes on the drawing indicate the location of the floors, where the top of the window would reach, and where the brick work would stop. Sited on the west side of the Lawn at the University of Virginia, Pavilion VII featured Doric columns.

    Citation: Thomas Jefferson Architectural Drawings for the University of Virginia, circa 1816–1819, Accession #171, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

    Original Author: Thomas Jefferson

    Created: Probably before 1817

    Medium: Ink-and-pencil drawing

    Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.