U.Va. Media Advisory: Rotunda Renovation Update, and Meet the New Capitals

February 05, 2015

As part of the major renovation of the University of Virginia’s iconic Rotunda, designed by U.Va. founder Thomas Jefferson, new marble capitals, carved in Italy, are being installed atop the columns supporting the building’s south and north porticos.

Italian craftsmen sculpted the new capitals from Carrara marble from Jefferson’s original design – as were the original Jefferson-commissioned capitals. Each weighs about 6,300 pounds, and will be installed using a complex engineering and transport system built specifically for this work.

The old capitals, which were part of architect Stanford White’s re-envisioning of the Rotunda following the 1895 fire which heavily damaged the building, required replacement because they are crumbling and are no longer safe.

On Monday, members of the media will have an opportunity to photograph, at ground level, the new capitals, compare them with the ones that have been removed and speak with several University officials. Expected to be on hand are President Teresa A. Sullivan; Brian Hogg, senior preservation planner in U.Va.’s Office of the Architect; Jody Lahendro, the senior project manager for Facilities Management; and James Zehmer, the assistant project manager.

This a construction site and attendees will be required to wear hardhats, reflective vests and safety goggles, which will be provided, as well as trousers and closed-toed, flat-soled shoes.

Please RSVP to Matt Kelly at 434-924-7291 or mkelly@virginia.edu.

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications