The Rotunda: Return to the Center of Life on the Lawn

The Pioneer got an inside look at the newly renovated Rotunda leading up to the official public re-opening on September 26th.

Early Thursday morning, The Pioneer got an inside look at the newly revamped Rotunda, four years in the making. The Rotunda renovations return the appearance and function of the building to those originally envisioned by Mr. Jefferson. Students will have more access to the historic building, including extended study hours, dorm dinners, improved study spaces, and additional classrooms. We are eagerly awaiting the moment the renovations will end, the doors will open, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site will resume its place in the spotlight at the University. University architect Alice Raucher said, “Daily life is hard on 200-year-old buildings, and the fact they function today as they once did is remarkable. Brian likes to say that our facilities suffer not from neglect, but from being too well-loved and too well-used. I think Mr. Jefferson would very much appreciate that.”

Stay tuned for an exclusive Pioneer video coming soon, where you can get a sneak preview of what’s been going on beneath the scaffolding. For now, get excited for its debut with some first-look photos by Sarah Dodge.



The Rotunda will be re-opened to the public on September 26th following a $58 million renovation. 


University architect, Alice Raucher, expressed her excitement for the Rotunda’s return to the center of life on the Lawn. 


The Dome Room, which was originally a popular venue for hosting events and dinners, will once again be an inviting space for students and guests.


Anything but brand new– the renovations will embody Mr. Jefferson’s original design.

The ceiling lining of the Dome Room was completely replaced during the renovation process. 


New classrooms in the Rotunda aim to better integrate the historic building into everyday student life and to return focus to Jefferson’s original purpose for the space – learning. 


Study spaces have been added and improved throughout the building to improve student accessibility to the Rotunda.


Mr. Jefferson’s statue stands proudly at the center of the Rotunda, ready to welcome students and university life back into the historic space. 


The Rotunda will also return as the home to important University meetings. 


The UNESCO World Heritage site is once again ready to open its doors. 


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