U.Va. Walking Tour, Part 2: Exploring the West Pavilion Gardens

July 15, 2009 — Just steps from the hustle and bustle of University of Virginia life, the West Range gardens provide quiet areas for walking, studying and conversation.

As a follow-up to last week's feature about the East Range gardens, today's story highlights their counterparts on the West Range, which lies between the Lawn and McCormick Road.

Landscape architect Alden Hopkins designed the West Range gardens, which were dedicated in 1964.

Located near the Chapel and within earshot of a major bus stop, the flowers and greenery of the Pavilion I garden compensate for the distractions created by street sounds. The upper terrace features a carved capital made from Virginia stone. The stone proved too difficult to sculpt, however, and was not used for the Rotunda.

In contrast to the tiered layout of most of the other gardens lining the lawn, Pavilion III's garden features one large lawn area. Pathways surrounding oval beds create private nooks within the garden.

In the Pavilion V garden, "X" marks the spot. Grassy areas create two X-shaped pathways, featuring two "Albemarle Pippin" apple trees. Crape myrtles, among other blossoms, stand out in the upper terrace.

The garden, however, is perhaps best known for its canine resident: Noble Cozart Lampkin – named for the pavilion's residents, Wayne Cozart, a vice president at the Alumni Association, and Patricia Lampkin, U.Va. vice president and chief student affairs officer – the official U.Va. dog. Student Council recognized the collie with the honor in March.

The Pavilion VII garden's large circular grassy area makes it perfect for the large gatherings frequently hosted by the Colonnade Club, the University's faculty club. This versatile garden boasts two circles of pathways – perfect for exercisers looking to get an extra lap in around the garden – as well as secluded spots.

Just outside of the garden, a cast iron capital stands near the East Range. The capital, which once ornamented the annex to the Rotunda, survived the 1895 fire in which the annex and Rotunda burned to the ground.

For sun seekers, Pavilion IX's garden provides lots of open space to catch some rays. For flower lovers, keep an eye out for many of the flowers in the upper terrace, which continue to bloom late into the summer.

After walking through the gardens, check out a couple of historical trees near the Rotunda. At the triangular island at the intersection of McCormick Road and University Avenue stands a dawn redwood. While it looks like an evergreen, U.Va. landscape architect Mary Hughes says the tree named for Ladley Hustad is actually deciduous.

Another tree of interest Hughes points out is a pre-Civil War sycamore, located north of the Rotunda.

More information about the gardens is available at www.virginia.edu/uvatours/gardens/gardensExplore.html. To learn more about the memorial and commemorative trees, visit www.virginia.edu/architectoffice/memorialtree/index.html.

— By Laura Hoffman