The decision to build Pavilion VI was made by Thomas Jefferson and John H. Cocke, another member of the Committee of Superintendence of the university's governing Board of Visitors, during the summer of 1819, largely because the Visitors could not agree on the arrangement of the dining halls, or hotels.

The Visitors had authorized construction of a hotel to begin during the 1819 building season, but Joseph Cabel, another Visitor, had disagreed with Jefferson's architectural scheme. Cabell, writing with what he called "the freedom of a friend," declared that the pavilions and dormitories facing the Lawn "will be beautiful & magnificent, and unlike any thing which I have seen in Europe or America." He felt, however, that "some other style" should be used for the hotels; it might be advisable, he suggested, to "provide Lecturing Rooms in separate buildings," because the classes would eventually grow in size and because professors and their families might need larger accommodations. Note: 1 Jefferson decided that any such major change to the design of the hotels should be referred to the full Board of Visitors for discussion.

However, both Jefferson and Cocke believed that construction work should be accelerated, for the university could not open until classroom and dormitory facilities were adequate. Initially, the Board of Visitors had expected that it would take just one year to complete a pavilion, but they soon realized that two construction seasons would be necessary. In order to open the institution, it was necessary to have an adequate number of buildings completed to house the students and the faculty and to have sufficient space for lectures. If only one building were started each year, construction would extend over an unacceptably long period of time. Jefferson and Cocke therefore decided to delay work on the hotel that had been authorized and to proceed immediately with construction of the east pavilions and dormitories. Note: 2

Because the disagreement over the hotel design occurred during the construction season and during a long interval between meetings of the Board of Visitors, Jefferson and Cocke made this decision without the approval of the Board. At the fall, 1819, meeting, the Visitors retroactively approved substituting the pavilion for the hotel proceeding with two more pavilions, but they also forbade "all further engagements for buildings." Note: 3


Jefferson immediately drew up elevations and plans for the east pavilions and directed the Proctor to begin excavation of the basements. Note: 4 The architectural order that Jefferson chose for Pavilion VI was, according to his notes, the Ionic of the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome. In his notes for this pavilion, unlike those for other pavilions, Jefferson did not indicate the plates of the architectural book on which he based his drawing of the order. He may have taken it from plates of the Theatre of Marcellus in Roland Fréart de Chambray's Parellèle de l'architecture antique avec la moderne or from one of his editions of Andrea Palladio's architectural treatises, copies of which he had acquired prior to the university's construction. Note: 5 Jefferson applied this order to the entablature and pediment of Pavilion VI; there is no portico, only a row of Tuscan columns supporting the one-story porch.

Unfortunately, the dates in the Proctor's accounts for the construction of Pavilion VI are less clear than they are for other buildings. They suggest that less than one hundred dollars was expended on Pavilion VI in 1821 and that $8,696.93 was spent in 1822. Note: 6 The minutes of the Board of Visitors, however, state that six of the pavilions were completed and that four others were "nearly finished" by November 30, 1821. Note: 7 The Proctor's accounts for Pavilion VI may well reflect the dates when the various entries were posted by a bookkeeper rather than the dates when the work was actually carried out.

In any case, it appears that agreements for the construction of Pavilion VI were not drawn up before the fall of 1819. It is known that William Phillips and Curtis Carter won the contract to supply bricks for Pavilion VI, but two documents indicate that during the summer of 1819 they had not yet received a contract. George W. Spooner, who submitted reports periodically from Charlottesville to the Proctor and was then in Richmond, wrote in August, 1819, that Phillips "appears to be uneasy lest his hands should be idle after he has finished the building he is at present engaged on, as there appears to be no arrangement for the Carpenters work of any other building . . . in the meantime I have told him you would be up and make further arrangements for him." Note: 8 In the second document, Phillips wrote at about the same time to explain that he had the first story of Pavilion I up and was waiting for the carpenters to ready the sleepers. He asked the Proctor to "Please inform me which will be my next job, as an arrangement may be made for me to begin." "If I should wait for work having all my hands together at considerable expense," he continued, "it will be A ruining stroke if we are not keeped imployed." Note: 9 From this letter, it seems unlikely that Phillips knew at this point that he would be working on Pavilion VI. Also during that summer, the Proctor wrote to Jefferson, who was spending the summer at Poplar Forest, his house near Lynchburg, asking Jefferson to clarify the commitments already made to workmen and to decide about future assignments. In his reply of September 1, 1819, Jefferson noted that Carter and Phillips had already been assigned to Pavilion I, as well as the dormitories between it and Pavilion III, and gave his sanction for them to "proceed to build the dormitories between Pavilions 2 & 3." Then, he continued, "when I return we will decide according to circumstances whether to give them Pavilion No. [IX] of the Western range, or one on the Eastern side." Note: 10 It therefore seems likely that the decision about who was to construct Pavilion VI was made after Jefferson returned to Monticello within the next few weeks.

Another clue about Pavilion VI appears in a brief report on the status of construction at the university that Jefferson made to James Breckenridge, in a letter of July 8, 1819. Jefferson stated that "we are proceeding to have 3 pavilions erected on the Eastern range, with their appurtenant dormitories, in addition to the 4 built, or to be built in the Western range; so that we may have 7 pavilions with their dormitories, in progress this year, to be finished the next." Note: 11 The four pavilions on the West Lawn are readily identified. Pavilion VII, which was begun in 1817, and fifteen of the dormitories were, according to Jefferson, "nearly finished as is deemed expedient until wanted for occupation." Note: 12 Pavilion III, the second to be built, was begun in 1818, and the Visitors anticipated that it would be completed during the winter of 1819-20. As Jefferson composed his letter to Breckenridge, workmen were laying the basement walls of a third pavilion in the West Lawn, Pavilion I. The fourth pavilion on the West Lawn to which Jefferson referred was Pavilion V; its progress was slowed by rock that had to be blasted away before the digging of the basement could proceed. Note: 13 The fifth pavilion on the West Lawn, Pavilion IX, was not authorized until the spring of 1820. Contracts for two of the pavilions on the East Lawn, Pavilions II and IV, had been awarded during the summer of 1819 to Richard Ware, a Philadelphia carpenter and contractor. Note: 14 Construction of the two remaining east pavilions--VIII and X--was not authorized until the spring of 1820. It therefore seems quite certain that Pavilion VI was the third of the three pavilions that Jefferson was "proceeding to have . . . erected" on the East Lawn in July, 1819. Even though the brick contracts had not yet been awarded, excavation may have begun. Note: 15

The university's records are clearer about the men who worked on many parts of Pavilion VI. Richard Ware, a Philadelphia contractor, was responsible for the carpentry and laying of the bricks at Pavilion VI. Jefferson, who particularly admired the craftsmanship of Philadelphia buildings, initially had hoped that Ware would build Pavilions I and V on the West Lawn. However, soon after Jefferson had written to Ware awarding him the work for those two buildings and a hotel, Ware fled to Delaware to escape creditors in Pennsylvania. In Ware's absence, the university decided to award the contracts for Pavilion I to brick contractors Curtis Carter and William B. Phillips and to master carpenter James Oldham, and the contracts for Pavilion V to William Perry, all workmen from Virginia. Note: 16 However, soon after these men began work, Ware arrived at the university, much to Jefferson's astonishment and delight. Note: 17

Jefferson immediately suggested to the Proctor of the university that he might be able to "disengage" projects assigned to the Virginia contractors, but evidently it was not possible to make these changes. Note: 18 It was at this point that Jefferson and Cocke decided to proceed with the construction of the East Lawn pavilions, using Ware as the contractor. Ware was assigned the work on Pavilions II and IV and served as contractor for Pavilion VI, but did not supply the bricks. The work on the two other east pavilions was carried out by Virginia contractors, although Jefferson initially had hoped that Ware would be the contractor for all of the East Lawn pavilions. Note: 19

For Pavilion VI, Ware used lumber purchased from Nelson Barksdale, the first Proctor, who was paid $400 by the university for scantling for Pavilions VI, VIII, and X in June, 1820. Note: 20 The term scantling probably referred to the small, upright members of the wooden frames. It is interesting that scantling was being supplied to Pavilion VI at the same time as to Pavilions VIII and X, for the construction of the latter two buildings was not authorized until the spring of 1820. This receipt, plus another dated June 4, 1821, for lumber delivered for Pavilions VI, VIII, and X, may thus indicate that little construction work had been done on Pavilion VI during 1819. Note: 21 The accounts for Pavilion VI show that Barksdale was paid $695.215 for lumber and that Ware was paid $1,600 for additional lumber. Note: 22

The bricks for Pavilion VI were made by Curtis Carter. Carter and his partner, William B. Phillips, had come to Charlottesville from Richmond, Virginia, where they had been successful brick contractors. In March, 1819, they had submitted a proposal to supply the brickwork for one of the pavilions on the West Lawn. When Richard Ware was detained in Philadelphia, the university engaged Carter and Phillips to supply and lay bricks for Pavilion I. Earlier, Carter had supplied bricks for several banks in Richmond and had become sufficiently prosperous that he was able to build for himself a substantial, two-story house Note: 23 Carter was paid $1,336.085 for the bricks for Pavilion VI, a sum that suggests that he did not actually construct the masonry foundations or walls. Evidently Richard Ware's workmen laid the bricks, for Ware was paid $2,800 for his work on Pavilion VI, just $39.14 less than the amount he was paid for both the carpentry and masonry work on Pavilion II. Note: 24

John M. Perry, a Virginia masonry contractor who had worked previously on Pavilion III and held the contract to build Pavilion V, also provided small amounts of brickwork for Pavilion VI. The Proctor's accounts indicate that he was paid $41.40 for brickwork done by himself and by another man named Thorn. Perry also constructed brick piers and the six columns of the porch and laid brick paving, probably in the basement. Perry, rather than Carter, supplied the bricks for the " back walls," probably a reference to the garden walls. Note: 25

The stonework for Pavilion VI was carved by John Gorman, a Virginian whom Jefferson had employed at Poplar Forest. Jefferson had recommended Gorman to Arthur S. Brockenbrough, the Proctor, as being "sensible, sober, skillful and industrious, as well as good humored." Jefferson pointed out that Gorman was "of the first class of stone cutters for everything which is not sculpture." He was capable, according to Jefferson, of preparing "an Ionic capital all but the last finishing." Note: 26 Where such finishing was needed or where Corinthian capitals were required, the university turned to Italian stonecarvers, but because the very simple Tuscan order was used in Pavilion VI, Gorman was able to complete the work himself. According to the Proctor's records, Gorman supplied six Tuscan bases at $6.44 each and six Tuscan caps at $5.17 each; he was also paid for setting the caps in place atop the shafts of the brick columns, which had been built by John Perry. Gorman supplied several other pieces of stonework for the building: " 1 front & 2 plain Sills," " Cellar Window Frames & I Stairs," and sills for the cellar and steps. He was paid $26.67 for this other work. The Proctor's accounts do not specify the source of the stone, although the value of the"Stone Work" was listed as $248.10. Note: 27 University officials had examined several quarries in Virginia and Georgia seeking stone of suitable quality, especially for the more elaborate capitals, but finally decided to have them carved in Italy of Carrara marble. Note: 28 For Pavilion VI, however, the university probably decided that stone from an American quarry was adequate.

The university's own blacksmith's shop supplied Pavilion VI with "2 Bolts with Screws & Cap " valued at $1.50. Some, and probably all, of the sash weights, valued at $57.67, and three stoves, worth $15.00 each, were supplied by Blackford and Company, iron founders located at Isabella Furnace, Virginia. Note: 29 These stoves were shown in early architectural drawings as being used to heat the second floor of the pavilion.

Another craftsman who contributed to the construction of Pavilion VI was William Coffee , a sculptor, who had been born in England and moved to New York in 1816. He supplied architectural ornaments for all ten pavilions. For Pavilion VI, Coffee recorded that he supplied 48 "Female heads"; at 46 cents each, they were among the most expensive ornaments used in buildings on the Lawn. Note: 30 The heads were intended for the entablature of the drawing room, which was located in the southwest corner of the second story.

The plasterwork at Pavilion VI was done by Joseph Antrim , who was responsible for plastering in all of the university buildings. The painting and glazing was done by Edward Lowber , a Philadelphia contractor, who also worked on many other buildings on the Lawn. Note: 31

The roofing on Pavilion VI is particularly interesting because much of the original tinplate covering is still in place. The Proctor's records indicate that thirteen boxes of tinplate were used and that it was installed by A. H. Brooks, who was paid $110.38 for his labor. Note: 32

Thomas Jefferson was one of the first Americans to investigate the use of tinplate roofing. In 1802, he wrote to James Dinsmore , who was then working at Monticello, about the progress of construction: "I am very much disposed to cover the terras at once with tin. I find that it may be done of the thickest tin for 18. Dollars a square; and it will be a proof against fire. I presume Mr. Oldham has hardly made any progress in preparing to plank it, for want of plank. It may therefore lie for consideration." Note: 33

When it came time to consider the roof coverings for the buildings at the university, the Board of Visitors in 1818 asked the same James Dinsmore to inspect tin roofs that a Mr. Brooks had installed on houses in Staunton, Virginia. Presumably, it was Dinsmore's account on the method of installation and the reported durability of tinplate that led the Visitors to select tin over slate and to hire A. H. Brooks, evidently the same person that Dinsmore had interviewed, to roof the university's buildings. In July, 1819, Brooks was reported to be "progressing with the tin covering." Note: 34 About the time that Brooks was working on Pavilion VI, Jefferson offered this advice to a correspondent: "I would advise you to cover with tin rather the with shingles. It is the lightest and the most durable cover in the world. We know that it will last 100 years, and how much more we do not know." Note: 35 Meanwhile, Jefferson engaged Brooks to cover "a small house" for him, but Jefferson became very annoyed when he discovered that instead of using what he had assumed to be a complicated and expensive machine for crimping the tin, Brooks used a simple device that, according to Jefferson, could easily be replicated and used by any workman. Brooks soon fell out of favor with Jefferson, and the university engaged another person to work on the roofs. Note: 36 However, by 1826, Jefferson had re-evaluated Brooks's workmanship and wrote to John Cocke about fixing the badly leaking roof over the Rotunda: "The Dome leaks so that not a book can be trusted in it until remedied. This is from the ignorance of the workmen employed. How shall it be remedied? My opinion is by a new tin cover put on the present, to be done by Broke of Staunton whose competence to it we know. This will cost us 8. or 900. Dollars. I know nothing else which experience will justify." Note: 37 The tinplate for the roofs at the university was made in Great Britain and purchased from two firms in Richmond--D. W. and C. Warwick, and John Van Lew and Co. The Van Lew firm had brought their inventory to the attention of the Proctor during the fall of 1819, explaining that "We understand that you are covering your houses with tin; if you should want that article. We have a large supply and should be glad to furnish you." Note: 38

By the end of 1822, the construction of Pavilion VI was nearly complete. The Proctor's records show that expenses up to that time totaled $8,754.98. During 1823, the only important payments were those made to Edward Lowber for $313.41, presumably for painting, and to John M. Perry for $155.55, for unspecified work. In the late summer of 1824, Lowber was paid an additional $220.74, and Joseph Antrim, a plasterer, was paid $322.86. At the end of 1824, the total cost of construction was recorded as $9,737.42. Note: 39

The first professor to occupy Pavilion VI was Thomas Hewitt Key , who was engaged to teach mathematics, navigation, architecture, and astronomy. His contract with the university, which was executed on September 28, 1824, stipulated that he will "suffer no waste to be committed in his tenement, that he will maintain the internal of his pavilion, and the external doors, window & locks in as good repair & conditions as when received." Note: 40


In 1828, Gessner Harrison , professor of ancient languages, took up residency in Pavilion VI and remained there until 1835, when he moved to another pavilion. Professor Harrison requested that "an alteration [be] made in his garden" of an unspecified nature during the summer of 1830. The matter was referred to the executive committee of the Board of Visitors, and the minutes did not record the outcome. Note: 41 In 1831, Harrison submitted plans to the Board of Visitors to have an office erected at the rear of his pavilion, and the Board approved his application. Note: 42 This work may have been an addition at the basement level, for during the following summer, the Board of Visitors directed the executive committee to have erected at Pavilion I "an addition to the basement story" that would be "similar to those already annexed" to Pavilions VI, VIII, and IX. Note: 43 The purpose of the addition may have been to house servants rather than to provide a work space, or office, for the professor. In 1828, the Board had authorized the Proctor "to cause to be erected additional offices for the accommodation of servants in connection with the Pavilions and hotels." The cost was not to exceed $100.00. Note: 44 There may have been a porch over this addition at one or more upper stories, for the Proctor was directed "to place a new superstructure over the porch in the rear" of Pavilion VI in 1840. Note: 45 During the summer of 1834, Professor Harrison was reimbursed for the cost of "opening a window at his pavilion." This work was done by J. Grenier and Thomas Bagby ; the charge, which also included putting up a gutter, was $15.20. Note: 46

In 1835, William B. Rogers , professor of natural philosophy, moved into Pavilion VI. In 1840, the back yard was enclosed, according to a resolution adopted by the Board of Visitors in 1840. The resolution directed the Proctor ldquo;to cause to be made a neat painted plank enclosure in the backyard contiguous to his pavilion and parallel to the north wall of the same, embracing a breadth of ground equal to the length of the adjacent dormitory." The work was to be done at Professor Rogers's expense. Similar plank enclosures had already been put up behind Pavilions II, IV, V, and VIII. Note: 47

The exterior woodwork of Pavilion VI may have been painted during the mid-1850s, when the Board of Visitors authorized that a portion of the 1854 appropriation be set aside for that purpose. Note: 48 At this time, Francis H. Smith, who had succeeded Professor Rogers as teacher of natural philosophy, resided in Pavilion VI; he remained in Pavilion VI until 1859.

In 1860, Lewis M. Coleman , professor of Latin, moved into Pavilion VI. He and his family required additional space. In July of that year, Professor Coleman gained permission from the Board of Visitors to occupy the dormitory room adjacent to Pavilion VI on the south "for the use of his family." Note: 49 He also secured authorization from the Visitors for an addition "at an expense not exceeding twenty-five hundred dollars." Professor Coleman was to lend the funds for construction, which were to be repaid with interest. It is not clear whether Coleman put up this addition. Note: 50 He submitted his resignation from the faculty in 1861, but it was not accepted until a year later. His family continued to occupy Pavilion VI through the fall of 1862, when it was assigned to George F. Holmes, professor of history. Note: 51 Professor Holmes resided in Pavilion VI for 35 years, longer than any other faculty member.

The university remained open during the Civil War, but maintenance of the buildings was a difficult task with few workers available. A letter written by a workman, Martin Tracy, to the Board of Visitors in 1866 reported on conditions: "during the war I had to be the tin smith & locksmith & sometimes the Superintendent & in fact I have done everything that was to be done carpentering & smith work." Note: 52 The Proctor's ledgers recorded no payments for repairs to Pavilion VI from 1862 through 1865. The roof probably suffered from leaks during the war; in a report made in July, 1865, the building committee reported that "much of the roofing [of the university] was in bad condition . . . that the Sky-Light of the Rotunda required immediate attention--as did the Pavilions, Mess Halls and Dormitories." The Visitors directed that "necessary repairs be made "as promptly as practicable." Note: 53 A report prepared by the Proctor, J. K. Campbell, to the faculty in the spring of 1866 detailed the condition of the buildings at the university. A terrace roof near Pavilion VI was reported to be leaking badly, and the Venetian blinds on all of the pavilions needed painting, but the Proctor did not report on any especially bad conditions at Pavilion VI. Note: 54

During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Proctor's ledgers record not only payments made to faculty members but also debits for repairs and fuel for their pavilions. Beginning in 1866, Professor Holmes was billed annually for several tons of anthracite coal, thus suggesting that the installation of coal grates that had been authorized in 1854 had taken place. Note: 55 By December, 1866, a series of small repairs had been made to Pavilion VI. A charge of $ 14.75 was made for the labor of carpenters and bricklayers and for materials for "work for Water Closets." An iron pipe was laid for $6.75, and a stop cock was installed for $5.00. Carpenters spent seven days making repairs, using "screws, nails & Lumber," valued together at $11.75. Bricklayers supplied labor and materials for $6.25, and new glass cost $11.80. In the spring of 1867, 11 more panes of glass were installed at a cost of $5.50, and a water cock was again repaired. The largest expenditure of that academic year was the construction of a wood fence, which cost $27.88. Note: 56 One wonders whether the "extension of the boundary by the side of Prof. Holmes' house" that was discussed and approved by the Visitors two months later was associated with the construction of the wood fence. Evidently by this time an outbuilding for Pavilion VI had been constructed, for the occupant of nearby Pavilion IV wrote that his residence "has also alone of them all, not a single outbuilding." Note: 57

Up through 1870, Professor Holmes was billed regularly for coal, gas, and ice, repeatedly for repairs to the water closet, and for a repair to the "door bell." During the fall of 1870, somewhat more extensive changes were made. He was billed on October 28 for the laying of 2,300 bricks at $18.40 and for glass valued at $7.80 in the following sizes: 20 panes measuring 12" by 18"; 8 panes, 12" by 14"; 7 panes, 10" by 12"; and 4 panes, 8" by 10". Evidently the plumbing required attention in 1871, for T. J. Williams was paid $24.44 for repair of "wc & pipes &c." In May, 1872, two workmen were paid 50 cents for hanging a door, and during the fall of the same year $4.00 was spent for "changing" a door. In May, 1873, Williams was paid $3.50 for a "bath valve." Note: 58

Small improvements continued to be made to Pavilion VI during the 1870s. In 1875, Professor Holmes was billed for 1,000 bricks, for "painting 7 pr blinds & 1 door" and for new sash cord. In 1876, he paid for 48 new sash cords, and for 150 bricks, and for a bricklayer to put in a grate. In 1875 and 1877, Holmes was billed for gas used in Dormitory 22 on the East Lawn, thus suggesting that he occupied that room.Note: 59 In the fall of 1875, the Board of Visitors granted Holmes's request "to have a closet removed from a room in the upper story of his pavilion and [have] the closet door filled up." Note: 60

The Proctor's records indicate that considerable painting and glazing was undertaken at the university between 1878 and 1880. The records suggest that Holmes was charged for half the cost of painting 25 pairs of blinds in December, 1878. In the spring of 1880, G. I. Bowyer glazed a total of 36 windows in Pavilion VI and requested payment for 377 yards of painting, presumably on the interior. During the academic year of 1882-83, four panes of glass, each measuring 12" by 18", were installed. Note: 61

During the rest of the 1880s and through the mid-1890s, no special repairs were noted in the university's records for Pavilion VI. In the spring of 1897, the sum of $75 was spent on carpentry work. In 1898, when William H. Perkinson, professor of modern languages, succeeded Professor Holmes, the Board of Visitors instructed the Proctor "to have made such repairs and improvements as are usual when a Pavilion changes hands." The nature and amount of the appropriation or expenditure were not recorded, but when Professor Perkinson applied for reimbursement of $60.33 in excess of the appropriation, the Visitors refused to honor his request. Note: 62

Charles A. Graves, professor of law, moved into Pavilion VI in 1899 and remained there through 1927, when the building was converted into the Romance Pavilion. During the school year of 1899-1900, steam heating was introduced to Pavilion VI, and Professor Graves was first billed for electric lighting during the academic year 1900-1901, thus suggesting that major improvements were made to the mechanical systems at this time. In April, 1905, J. C. Kelly and Son did an unspecified amount of work on the porch at Pavilion VI. Note: 63

Major changes were made to Pavilion VI in 1928, when it was converted from a faculty residence to the Romance Pavilion, where the French, Spanish, and Italian languages were taught. The work was directed by Dr. William A. Lambeth , who was an authority on colonial architecture, a member of the faculty, and Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. The intent of the changes made under Dr. Lambeth's direction was to restore the building to its appearance during Jefferson's time, to install more modern heating and lighting, and to dedicate each of four rooms on the second floor to the Romantic peoples of France, Spain, Italy, and Latin America. Note: 64

When the Salle Lafayette, located on the second floor of the Pavilion, was dedicated in November, 1929, Annette Van Winkle Hale prepared background materials for public relations purposes. Included was a description of Pavilion VI as it then appeared.

The basement at that time had one large room and three small rooms. The fireplace in the larger room, which was believed to have been the original kitchen, was repaired and fitted with a collection of antique cooking utensils. The room was "furnished with antique Breton furniture" and used for teaching advanced courses in French. One of the small rooms was used as an office, and the other two rooms served as small classrooms. The large room to the left of the entrance on the first story was used for teaching Italian. The room to the right of the entrance, which had a new hardwood floor "similar to one at Monticello," was used for instruction in French. The third room, the largest, was used for teaching Spanish. Note: 65

The largest room on the second floor was the Salle Lafayette, which was intended to commemorate the friendship between Thomas Jefferson and General Lafayette and between the United States and France. It had a "Medusa-head cornice of exquisite design, and a herring-bone hardwood floor," and the walls were decorated with frescoes by two French painters, Robert and Martha La Montagne Saint Hubert. Laurence Lee, an alumnus of the university and a writer, had interested Ormond G. Smith, another alumnus and president of the French Institute of America, in the Romance Pavilion. Smith provided $10,000 toward the frescoes, which depicted scenes from the friendship between Jefferson and Lafayette and of the American colonies. Note: 66

The Salle Lafayette was dedicated on November 20, 1929, in ceremonies that included the French Ambassador, Paul Claudel . According to Professor T. B. Woody, a member of the faculty who taught in the Romance Pavilion, the Salle Lafayette was used "exclusively for doctoral oral examinations because it [had] no light and no heat." The examinations were held at night; the room was lighted by candles, and the faculty and candidates were dressed in evening clothes. Note: 67

The room across the hallway from the Salle Lafayette was to be the Sala de Cervantes, which had "a fine hardwood floor and a plain but beautiful cornice." At the center of the hardwood floor was a stylized mariner's compass, meant to symbolize Spanish exploration. The Spanish room was lighted by two windows which extended to floor level and overlooked the Lawn; a similar window in the north wall overlooked a small courtyard. There was one door in the south wall. Like the Italian room, the Spanish room was irregular in plan, due to a diagonal wall between the south and east walls. Note: 68 Behind the Spanish room was the Italian room, named the Sala de Dante. Two windows, which extended down to the floor on the north wall of the room, overlooked a small courtyard. On the south wall was a door. There was also, according to Annette Hale, "an irregularity in the shape of the room, there being one diagonal wall between the south and west walls." Its hardwood floor, like the floors in the Spanish and French rooms, was based on a pattern found at Monticello. Above was "a beautiful Jeffersonian cornice." At the rear of the second floor was a room dedicated to the Latin American peoples and called La Sala de Bolivar, in tribute to Simon Bolivar and his nephew, Fernando Bolivar , who had been a student at the university in 1827. This room was to be used as a library and reading room for students studying the Romance languages. The doorway to the room, which had no "door-leaves,"was in the center of the west wall; there were seven windows in this room, two each in the north and south walls and three in the east wall. The "graceful" plaster cornice was 0.45 meters high. It was anticipated that a hardwood floor would be installed.Note: 69

The creation of the Romance Pavilion occasioned the presentation of numerous gifts. Four professors of Romance languages -- R. H. Wilson, W. P. Graham Jr., J. C. Pardin, and F. H. Abbott -- each gave $100 towards the installation of the hardwood floors. Note: 70 Two tables that had been at the French Embassy in Washington were presented by Ambassador J. J. Tusserand of Paris, and Ormand G. Smith presented chairs for the French room. Dr. Lambeth, who had worked on the restoration of the building, donated chairs, a table, and a large statue of Dante for the Italian room. The French government gave a box of medals for the French room. Note: 71 The university authorized the expenditure of $3,462.49 for desks and chairs.Note: 72

Pavilion VI continued in use as the Romance Pavilion through the early 1950s. In 1954, Pavilion VI was assigned to Dean L. J. Stiles. Note: 73 In 1955, it became the home of Charles C. Abbott , who was Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration and resided there until 1972. The family of Robert D. Cross, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, moved into the building in 1972 and remained there until 1989.


Except where noted, all manuscript documents cited are part of the Jefferson Papers of the University of Virginia; they formed the basis of this study. The original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of these documents have been retained in the quoted excerpts, except that a period has been inserted where one did not appear at the end of a sentence, and the first word of each sentence has been capitalized.




First Floor

Second Floor

1860 - 1875


First Floor

Second Floor



First Floor

Second Floor



First Floor

Second Floor

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Last Modified: Friday, 27-Jun-1997 10:14:23 EDT