Here in central Virginia we’re in the bull’s-eye for winter weather today. Maybe I’ll go out and snag some new pictures; in the meantime, here are some old snowy scenes. Here’s to hoping the power stays on; the low tonight is in the teens!
There are three manmade UNESCO world heritage sites in the United States: The Liberty Bell, The Statue of Liberty, and The University of Virginia Lawn with Monticello. The UNESCO designation basically means there is something noteworthy of distinctive about the site. I happen to live near to the University of Virginia, so I get to take a lot of photos. (As of this post, I just discovered that all the modern photos on the lawn Wikipedia page are mine. I love to see where the creative commons take my works. Side note: check out my very large Flickr collection of mostly creative commons images.)
Many years ago, Benoit Mandelbrot, the creator of fractal geometry, visited the university to give a talk. He said it was like walking into the lion’s den of Euclidean geometry. I always liked this description; everything about the university is columns and arches and perspective points. Monticello and the University were laid out by Thomas Jefferson, who one gets the feeling never actually died living around here. He was the ambassador to France for a while, and greatly admired the architecture. He came back to the states with those architectural inspirations.
The UVA lawn, shown below, has the rotunda at one end (the second one… the first one burned down and blew up when a professor tried to save it with TNT) and is lined by ten pavilions. Between the pavilions are dorm rooms that distinguished fourth year students still live in. Each of the ten pavilions is architecturally different, and behind each is a garden in a different style which no doubt will be the topic of a future post. Pavilion 2 is pictured below. Professors still live in the pavilions. The pavilions were built in a strange order, to ensure that diminished funds would not diminish the scope of the project.
It’s very easy to find plenty of reading material on Jefferson and the University if you are interested, so I won’t try to write a tome here. However I’ll include a few of my pictures that may hopefully spark your interest.
This weekend the art department at the university put on a creature parade. Alum Stan Winston made creatures for Jurassic Park, Avatar, and others. So the art school made some creatures and some sound tracks for those creatures and paraded them around grounds. It made for a nice photo outing. The students were very proud of their creations and seemed to have fun with it. Little kids didn’t know quite what to make of the beasts, but gave them a healthy space for safety.