The Retreat for the Sick Students (Relocation, Restoration)
University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
The Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville UNESCO World Heritage Site (1987) embraces this formerly decaying three-story 1858 structure, identified as the first building designed exclusively for a professional nursing practice. The university hired the architect, William Pratt, away from a photography careerâ€”he made the final plate of American poet Edgar Allen Poeâ€”marked by his design and construction of an innovative studio, now demolished. By deduction, I believe Pratt followed Florence Nightingaleâ€™s "Manual on Nursing," installing central heating and ventilation, unique four-sash windows for maximum fresh air, flush toilets, and an entry airlock.
I faithfully documented and restored the unsound Basement on a firmly-founded site a few hundred feet southeast. I preserved Prattâ€™s therapeutic building orientation: this is the earliest and only building on the World Heritage Site that dismisses Jeffersonâ€™s orthogonal grid. It is also the first of the Universityâ€™s painted buildings. Orientation, paint--these illustrate a known phenomenon, that Thomas Jefferson's reputation sank as the nineteenth century progressed.
I recovered original colors. and restored, but steel-reinforced, patient balconies. (A University of Virginia balcony fatally collapsed in 1989.) No new material will damage an existing one, and the building is handicapped-accessible.
[Conforms to the Secretary of Interiorâ€™s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties; Honor Award, Virginia Society American Institute of Architects]