The Rotunda is closed

for renovation starting May 19, 2014 through Summer 2016.
Thomas Jefferson built it as a library at the center of his small university. <
The Rotunda was built from 1822 to 1826.
Its labor force included slaves, as well as craftsmen brought in from Philadelphia


Image result for Rotunda burning, from the UVA lawn, October 27, 1895
In the center is the rotunda, which housed the school’s library, with the Lyceum in the background.
 

View of the Rotunda burning, from the UVA lawn, October 27, 1895. <
At the time, the Rotunda housed the university’s library.
Eighty percent of the collection burned.


During these renovations, > workers discovered inside one of the walls: nearly 200-year-old chemistry lab designed by Thomas Jefferson which may be the > oldest intact example of early chemical education in this country. Photo: Dan Addison

Officials say the lab may have been designed for John Emmet <, the school’s first professor of natural history, to use along with a nearby classroom. Photo: Dan Addison
> Letter written by Thomas Jefferson in April 1823 to Joseph Cabell on the board of visitors, mentioning the chemistry classroom.
PHOTO: The hearth is far different from any kind of modern chemistry lab with special flues taking out toxic air and sand used to change the heat used in experiments. The hearth is far different from any kind of modern chemistry lab with special flues taking out toxic air and sand used to change the heat used in experiments.
Photo: Dan Addison
The hearth was walled off in >1850 and survived a major fire that destroyed a large portion of the building in 1895. 3D data on the chemical hearth found in the Rotunda.<
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