Workers discover fire debris in wall cavity of Thomas Jefferson’s rotunda
The 1895 fire that all but destroyed Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda was thought to have left no traces of the iconic building’s dome. But University of Virginia masons working on the building’s current renovation have discovered pieces of that structure preserved within the walls.
The Rotunda, the centerpiece of Jefferson’s Academical Village, is closed until the summer of 2016 while workers upgrade its mechanical systems, repair portico roofs, install new column capitals and improve fire and life safety systems.
The original dome structure was wood, which would have been destroyed in the fire, and its roofing was made from tin-coated iron shingles. Read more.