ABOUT THIS PHOTO
The Jefferson Theater, 1936. Built in 1901 as the Jefferson National Bank on East Main Street (today’s Downtown Mall), the Jefferson was enlarged and converted into a theater in 1912. Owners completely rebuilt the building just three years later after a tragic fire. A combination silent movie house and vaudeville stage, the Jefferson was host to a number of popular films and performers over the years, including magician Harry Houdini. Other downtown movie theaters followed: the Lafayette (1921), which is now the site of York Place Shops and Apartments; the Paramount (1931); Vinegar Hill (1976); and the University Theater at the Corner (1938-1990). After struggling under various names for many years as a second-run movie theater, the Jefferson was sold to music promoter Coran Capshaw in 2006, who launched a multi-million dollar renovation project and has since reopened the historic venue as a live music hall. The marquee in this photo advertises the 1936 release The Trail of the Lonesome Pine starring Fred MacMurray and Henry Fonda, one of Hollywood’s first successful color films. (courtesy of the Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia).
Learning Was Never More Fun!
In addition to unique, special events at which we host guest speakers, we annually offer two full Speakers Series from September through May. All of these events are free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Our Speakers Series are intended to thoughtfully engage guests by reflecting on events, issues and personalities from the history of our region. Our speakers are all experienced scholars, historians, journalists, authors, and experts in their fields. All of the speakers typically offer a PowerPoint-styled presentation with archival photos, videos or more. Each talk is followed by a brief question & answer period. Each event typically lasts no more than 90 minutes. A full schedule and the latest updates are available below as well as on our Calendar, on the Blog and on Facebook.
Speakers Series: Past Series
The Third Fridays Series
At 7pm on the third Friday of each month throughout the academic school year (except December), we host an evening of history. The “Third Fridays” series is held at City Space on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall (second floor of the Market Street Parking Garage). Like all events in our Speakers Series, these evenings are entirely free and open to all. No tickets or reservations are required. Seating is limited so please arrive early. Check out the schedule listing below for the confirmed 2018-2019 Third Fridays line-up. For the latest updates please check out our Calendar, read the Blog, and follow us on Facebook.
<strong>September 2018</strong> <br />Historic African-American Portraits
<strong>October 2018</strong> <br />The Classical Architecture of Jefferson Country
<strong>November 2018</strong> <br />The Storied History of Charlottesville's Jews
<strong>January 2019</strong> <br />The Making of Copeley Hill: Public Housing in Charlottesville After WWII
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO AN UNFORESEEN CONFLICT. WE WILL LOOK FORWARD TO RESCHEDULING DAN’S TALK LATER THIS SEMESTER.
January 18, 7pm. Daniel Bluestone, Professor of Architectural History and Director of the Preservation Studies Program at Boston University, will join us for a fascinating evening to explore the story of public housing in Charlottesville in the 20th century.. After World War II the United States federal government picked up and relocated 250,000 units of temporary housing it had earlier constructed at military bases and armament plants. Over 125,000 of these units assumed a new “temporary” identity on 720 college and university campuses where they accommodated veterans taking advantage of the educational benefits provided by 1944 Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, popularly known as the G.I Bill. This program is an architectural representation of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Daniel Bluestone, is Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Director, of the BU Preservation Studies Program. In twenty years of teaching and working in preservation in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia, Bluestone wrote prize-winning articles and books touching on key aspects of Charlottesville history— ranging from parks to memorials to residential design, to the form and operations of the Charlottesville’s red light district. He has worked on historic preservation and community revitalization projects in Charlottesville, China, Iraq, and across the United States.
<strong>February 2019</strong> <br />Founding of UVA: The Real Story
February 15, 7pm. Author and historian Coy Barefoot offers an engaging and thoughtful look at the founding of the University of Virginia — which was chartered by an act of the General Assembly exactly 200 years ago this month. Barefoot offers the comprehensive “back story” to UVA: from the political intrigue to the financing challenges to the personalities. This is a popular lecture that Barefoot has been asked to give to alumni groups across the country. He shares a number of fascinating items about the history of UVA that most people don’t know.
<strong>March 2019</strong> <br />The Making of the Downtown Mall
<strong>April 2019</strong> <br />Eugenics at the University of Virginia
<strong>May 2019</strong> <br />Education and the American Republic
The Community Series
<strong>September 2018</strong><br />20th Century Charlottesville
<strong>October 2018</strong><br />The Irish and the Railroad
<strong>November 2018</strong><br /> An Evening with Peter Hatch
<strong>January 2019</strong> <br />Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village
January 26, Saturday. Join us for a special afternoon with scholar, author and acclaimed architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson for an exclusive, in-depth look at Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia. Our afternoon will begin at 1pm in Room 158 at Campbell Hall when Professor Wilson will offer an in-class lecture and discussion about Jefferson’s architecture. We’ll follow that up around 230p on Grounds as Professor Wilson personally guides us down the Lawn into the historic heart of UVA. This is an incredibly rare opportunity to spend time with one of the nation’s preeminent authorities on the architecture of Thomas Jefferson and the fascinating story of the University of Virginia. Parking is available in the Culbreth Road Parking Garage (just across the road from Campbell Hall where we will begin at 1p) or in the Fralin Museum Parking Lot, across Rugby Road at the north end of Mad Bowl.
<strong>February 2019</strong> <br />The Carr/Greer Home
<strong>March 2019</strong> <br />Zion Hill Baptist Church
<strong>April 2019</strong> <br />The Crozet Story
<strong>May 2019</strong> <br />Rediscovering James Monroe
It's What We Do!
Our current suite of Programs
Want to <em><strong>work with us?</strong></em>
Are you a company, organization or individual interested in being a title sponsor for one of our programs?
At the Historic McIntire Library
On the park in downtown Charlottesville
200 Second Street, NE
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Monday-Friday (9-5), Saturday (10-1)