Recreating History for U. VA Rooftop

University of Virginia is undergoing a restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s innovative design of a flat roof over the Academicals Village.

The original roof built in 1817 was designed flat so the water was diverted through gaps in the wood decking and into gutters and cisterns. Jefferson designed his roofs after the French architecture he observed in the 1780’s.

Within 10 years, a gabled roof was placed over Jefferson’s original roof due to leakage.

The new technology, a rubber membrane roof will be installed over a wood structure then a top deck made of hardwood. They will be able to recreate Thomas Jefferson’s original plan with flat roofs creating a raised open walkway with railings. Pedestrians will be able to walk from one pavilion to the other and enjoy the lawns and gardens.

The restoration project is being handled by carpenters from Facilities Management, with the only outside roofing contractor, W.A. Lynch Roofing Co., who will be installing the rubber membrane. They expect the new roof and railings to be completed by mid august.


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