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The iconic building of the University of Virginia. Name borrowed from Latin rotundus (“round”).

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The Rotunda

1895 Fire

A fire destroyed most of the Rotunda on October 27, 1895.[1] An attempt to save the Rotunda's annex made by Professor William Echols through the use of dynamite resulted in the annex exploding and the fire spreading. The New York architecture firm of McKim, Mead, and White was hired to perform the renovations and Stanford White himself headed the renovations.

Controversial renovation

In an effort to repair the Rotunda's leaking roof, plans were drafted that required several magnolia trees to be removed in order to facilitate access. Over 1,800 signatures were collected on a petition to stop the Board of Visitors from approving such an action.[2] On February 9, 2012, the Cavalier Daily reported that though the renovation of the Rotunda's roof had been delayed, the trees would ultimately not be removed to facilitate the project.[3]


Coordinates:Erioll world.svg.png 38°02′09″N 78°30′12″W / 38.035695°N 78.503349°W / 38.035695; -78.503349

University Perspectives

The University of Virginia produced a television show, University Perspectives. This episode is about the Rotunda's restoration.



  1. Print: Charlottesville events 1892-1902, , Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises 29 Jan 2012, Page 3 (Special section celebrating newspaper's 120th anniversary in 2012).
  2. Web. UVa students push to save magnolias around the Rotunda, Ted Strong, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 16, 2011, retrieved November 18, 2011.
  3. Web. Rotunda renovation delayed, trees saved, Cavalier Daily, February 9, 2012, retrieved July 13, 2012.