The evolution of the overall design of the Academical Village has been a source of controversey for scholars. The best description of the design's development can be found in Sherwood and Lasalla's essay in Wilson, ed., Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village .
Although Jefferson expressed ideas concerning the layout of a college/university over the years, the actual developement of the University of Virginia really begins in 1814 with the Albemarle Academy scheme (N309). In 1817 an actual site for Central College as it was called was selected outside of the small town of Charlottesville, and Jefferson surveyed the site. In the next few years over 400 acres are acquired for the college (N554) and Jefferson beings to develope plans and seeks advice from William Thornton (N300) and Benjamin Henry Latrobe (June 12, 1817). The reasons for Jefferson's request for assistance has excited much comment from scholars, however the most immediate cause was that Jefferson had recently sold his library including his architectural books to the United States Government.
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