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University of Virginia

Pavilion III

Since 1986, the University has made vigorous efforts to properly care for their Jefferson designed buildings by carefully studying them before intervening with the building fabric. Under the auspices of a term contract with the University, MCWB Architects completed a Historic Structure Report of Pavilion III. This report unearthed and summarized all that is known about the building in the form of a history section, which encompassed all periods of the buildings existence. This portion of the report was written after the architectural team closely scrutinized all available documents related to the building and compared this information with physical evidence found in the Pavilion itself. The report also included recommendations for the buildings restoration and prioritized this work to reflect the needs of the building, construction logic, the priorities of the University, and budget constraints. Recommendations were also made to reinstate missing Jefferson period features discovered or further defined during the preparation of the report.

Shortly after the successful reintroduction of the missing Jefferson-period parapet at Pavilion X, the University of Virginia retained MCWB Architects to reinstate the missing Jefferson-period balustrade at nearby Pavilion III.  This balustrade had been missing since the late 19th century, and it was possible to recreate this missing feature through the creative use of modern laser scanning technologies now being employed by our firm.  After laser scanning the entire building, our technicians were able to superimpose these scans over the historic photographs showing the original balustrade.  Using reverse perspective software, we were able to accurately proportion the balustrade so that it perfectly matched the original photographs.  The details of this feature were developed based on our in-depth knowledge of Jeffersonian architecture, and we have restored Jefferson’s balustrade on his home at Monticello as well as at his second home at Poplar Forest.  The balustrade was designed in accordance with modern structural codes and required hidden stainless steel brackets and modifications to later period roof framing to recreate the appearance of the Pavilion as Jefferson knew it.

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