Monday, May 22, 2006

The "Academical Village"

From the Virginia Law Forum (students only) comes this link to yesterday's New York Times Magazine article on the trials of redesigning the University's South Lawn. Highlights include a knock or two at U.Va.'s stubbornly archaic terminology (e.g. Grounds, Board of Visitors) and the author calling John Casteen "a solemn, doughfaced man." I love it. My one quibble is that it refers to there being a shortage of student housing in C'ville. With the amount of expansion and new construction that's been going on in the past five years, can that possibly be true? Just how much has the student population grown during that period? True, living off-Grounds meant signing a lease by January if you wanted to move in in August, but my cheapskate housemates and I never had any trouble finding a place to live.

It's hard for me to imagine New Cabell Hall being demolished, although its charms are questionable. Its climate control doesn't work, and its design always confounded me: the bathrooms are in different places on each floor, the staircases are randomly located, and I never got the hang of the room numbering, but then, I'm not good with spacial relationships. I just love that building because of the classes I took there, and I hate to lose it. On the other hand, I know U.Va. has to build new buildings to keep up with other universities, and it sounds like the committee working on the new plans is at least as picky about architecture as I am, so I'm likely to enjoy the new construction if I'm around to see it. And I sincerely hope I will be.


Blogger Joe said...

Well, the housing situation here is definitely getting worse, not better - I'm not sure what this development is that you're talking about, but it's not anything that helps students. For instance, the apartments at 1800 JPA (the tall apartment building) are no longer available for rent and instead are being sold off as $200K+ condos. I read today that average house prices in C'ville are now up over $300K, and that matches up pretty well with what my few house-shopping friends have told me.

There's still College Park (what an unfortunate name - Don't these people know anything about ACC rivalries?) and Eagle's Landing, the two new apartment complexes south of town. Those places are nice enough, and I even gave thought to moving down there myself before finding the house that I rent now. Still, they're not that cheap, especially considering that you need to take a shuttle or drive in order to get to town from there. :-/

5/25/06, 12:53 AM  
Blogger Gwen said...

Wow, I didn't know about 1800 JPA. My aunt lived there when she got her Ph.D. in Physics at U.Va. (sometime around 1980).

I always lived in the JPA area as an undergrad -- twice on Shamrock, and once on Valley -- and recently I've been reading uva.want-ads and have seen plenty of ads for attractive housing possibilities, including one of the apartments in which I used to live. My understanding is that there's been some development in the 14th/Wertland area, though since I wouldn't consider living there now, I haven't looked into it in too much depth.

The place I'm living downtown is new, but it is seriously expensive. Definitely not feasible for undergrads unless their parents are totally loaded and very generous.

I guess in my head there are still 1-bedrooms in the Mad-Preston area for $600 a month, and those probably don't exist in real life anymore.

5/25/06, 11:03 AM  

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