UVa Building Arts Center

UVa is completely overhauling the intersection of Emmett and University Ave./Ivy Rd., now that they’ve bought all of the private property there. They plan to knock down the Cavalier Inn and the gas station and install a $97M Center for the Arts. The building will house the UVa Art Museum (née Bayly) and a performing arts center, spread across 127,000 square feet. In the process, Carr’s Hill field is going to be given an all-weather surface, a sculpture garden will be constructed, and the whole area is going to be turned into a major entrance to UVa.

Carlos Santos had the skinny in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Kathleen Meyers has more in today’s Cavailer Daily.

7 Responses to “UVa Building Arts Center”


  • Minor quibble- The University of Virginia Art Museum is only called the Bailey because of the building it was in. The art museum was never named for Bailey. The current building will remain the Bailey and the University gets to get a boatload of cash to rename the new art digs.

  • It seems we’re both right. :) The Cavalier Daily wrote, at the time that it was renamed:

    The Bayly Art Museum is kicking off the new academic year with a new name and big plans for the future.

    Museum director Jill Hartz said the museum has gone back to its original name, the University of Virginia Art Museum.

    The museum is housed in the Thomas H. Bayly building and eventually became known as the Bayly Art Museum. The building bears the name of the father of Evelyn May Bayly Tiffany, who provided most of its construction funding.

    It came to be called the Bayly, and it just accepted that name over time. (I used to get invitation to openings mailed to me from the Bayly, labeled as such.) Improperly, yes.

    Either way, it’s interesting — I’d never been clear on the distinction. Kind of like the David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium at the Carl Smith Center. :)

  • cville_libertarian

    As someone who lives very near the affected area and having been involved in the garage squabble, I have to say: this is no big news/surprise. This, or something like it has been rumored for quite a while. I also think it’s a good thing, for UVa, the neighborhood and the larger area.

    My only real beef with any of this has been the way the university has operated in secrecy to avoid any discussion of it’s planning by others who may be impacted. They are given the ability to operate somewhat secretly under the Virginia Real Estate Foundation, one supposes to avoid being gouged by those who feel they should be able to command above-market prices for their property. I suppose this is a good and necessary thing, but the device opens the door for abuse (gee, wonder if this sounds like any other government/administration lately?). Ever since the garage stink, they’ve made good on Sandridge’s promise to change the way they operate. Predictably, very few people show up and take an active interest, but UVa is responsive to those who do.

    Many of UVa’s plans do not provide adequate transportation planning (gee, big surprise) – it is Charlottesville after all! What would it be if not for congested roads!

    As the major source/generator of traffic in that part of town, the university has a moral obligation (in my view) to help address the problem. Their tactics WRT the garage and traffic were very, very sketchy if not outright dishonest. I think the Massey Rd. connector to the bypass is a great initiative, and will help with major event traffic quite a bit. I also think the city, county or VDOT (whoever it was) did the right thing in sticking to their guns about doing it right, which means no traffic light. I wish the University could have come up with the money for a grade-separated exchange. I cannot see how this new growth can be handled without ‘improving’ Ivy and Emmet by widening them to 4 lanes all the way to their intersection, and eliminating a number of the entrances (driveways) to improve flow.

  • I don’t feel like the university has operated in secrecy with regard to this project. I has heard about it a couple of years ago, and seen plans for it as much as a year ago – and I’m nobody special. I saw the plans at a public work session of city council.

  • cville_libertarian

    No, that was my point: ever since the garage business there has been a very different attitude from the university. I have seen a lot of plans for different things out of the university, including the master plan from several years ago. It is typical for those plans to change a lot in a very short period of time. The Arts Center location has changed a bunch of times in the past 2-3 years, although it’s stayed in the same general area.

    The big issue has been which side of the railroad overpass it’s been placed. Emmet north of the bridge is capable of handling a good bit more traffic than south of the bridge. It’s a non-trivial difference, even though the address is “right next door”. I am glad they are building an “entranceway” to the university.

  • aren’t the cavalier inn and the gas station on opposite sides of the street? we can’t be putting one building to replace them because it would have to span the street, right? and what happens to Italian Villa? they just got a nice new parking lot….is that space big enough if they don’t include Italian Villa? i imagine that little building of UVa’s that has all the outdoor recreation equipment will have to go too…and what’s the motel right across from Italian Villa? there is one there, isn’t there?

    i admit i’m impaired when it comes to visualizing these word-based descriptions of geography/layout, even though I drive through this intersection every day.

    boy, the loss of that BW Cavalier Inn is going to smart on big University-related event days, like football game days, graduation, move-in, etc. that was a prime location for a hotel on those kinds of days.

  • cville_libertarian

    The university owns everything on both sides of the street except the Budget Inn (and maybe they own that too). The whole “block” is being rebuilt.

    I’m pretty sure they own the Italian Villa building and lease it out. The driveway changes and fancy new parking lot were part of the sneaky tricks the university used to get their original traffic numbers in line to the point they could get approval for a traffic light for that entrance to the parking lot. It took a lot of effort on many folks’ (including a previously asleep city council) part to get the state to take another look at that whole plan. That intersection is already in “failure” and gets a grade “F” for congestion according to state rules. The U tried to con the state and city into believing their traffic light and parking garage would improve the traffic flow through there. They used very selective traffic numbers, collected over Spring Break (no students, less faculty & staff), among other things.

    Like I said, they tried to pull a fast one once before; people got really upset; they made some changes, and have been faithful to those promises to change. They ought to be applauded for that; Leonard Sandridge should be recognized for making a serious good-faith effort.

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