Archive for the ‘UVA’ Category

Charlottesville has been named one of the top ten healthiest cities to live in and retire to by AARP’s magazine. Here is the list of the Top Ten healthiest cities to live and retire to:

1. Ann Arbor, Mich.,

2. Honolulu,

3. Madison, Wisc.,

4. Santa Fe, N.M.,

5. Fargo, N.D.,

6. Boulder, Colo.,

7. Charlottesville,

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.,

9. San Francisco Bay Area;

10. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.

The magazine evaluated more than 20 measures for the rankings, including: opportunities for exercise, number of doctors in the area, availability of healthcare, housing affordability, the local economy, educational resources, crime, climate, recreational amenities, and arts and culture.


President George W. Bush will make an appearance at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, for Independence Day and a naturalization ceremony! Surprise!

Bush’s Monticello visit will be a fourth by a commander-in-chief to Mr. Jefferson’s house. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first in 1936, followed by Harry Truman in 1947, and Gerald Ford, who chose to celebrate America’s 1976 bicentennial at the home of the Declaration of Independence’s author on July 5.

Love him or hate him you have to give Bush some credit for his taste in architecture. Monticello is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world as it is a World Heritage Site.

Eight colleges have been awarded U.S. Green Building Council grants for programs that teach about sustainable construction:

  • Cornell University received a grant for a program in which students will go out of the classroom to understand the broad scope of green building practice.
  • The Eastern Iowa Community College District received a grant for a green-construction-technologies program it is creating within its Renewable Energy Systems Technician program.
  • Grand Valley State University received a grant for its comprehensive campus sustainability program, which is intended to engage students and the community.
  • Santa Fe Community College received a grant for an online course to visually document the entire process of building an energy-efficient house that generates its power off the grid.
  • The University of Maine at Farmington received a grant for a program that uses sustainable buildings on the campus to teach students about green building.
  • The University of Texas at Austin received a grant for a program in which students will create innovative and sustainable housing located in Austin’s alleys.
  • The University of Virginia received a grant for a program in which students create sustainable, modular, affordable housing units.
    • ecoMOD: A multi-year research and design / build / evaluate project at the School of Architecture, in partnership with the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science. Over the next several years, UVA students and faculty are designing and building several 400 to 1,500 square foot ecological, modular and affordable housing units.
  • Yavapai College received a grant for its residential-technology building program.

Planetizen released its list of the Top 25 Urban Planning programs in the United States for 2009 as part of its Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs. Here’s the top 10:

  1. MIT
  2. Cal-Berkeley
  3. UNC-Chapel Hill
  4. Rutgers
  5. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  6. Cornell
  7. Harvard
  8. UCLA
  9. Southern California
  10. UPenn

If you look closely at the map you’ll see that Charlottesville is marked with a star. Thus, the University of Virginia is one of the top 25 planning programs in the country. Woo-hoo wahoos! Last year I believe UVA was in the top 15, and it was ranked that low because it didn’t have a PhD program.

Yesterday, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture at the University of Virginia. According to Wikipedia, Dr. Brundtland “is a Norwegian politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She is a former Prime Minister of Norway, and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization. She now serves as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations.”

This video was created by the School of Architecture to raise awareness on Dr. Brundtland’s appearance.

On April 1st I saw a story that Orbit, the pool hall on the Corner, was shutting down. Dave McNair at The Hook reports that the owners of Mellow Mushroom, John Adamson and Andrew Watson, have bought Orbit and plan to turn it into a gourmet burger place. Apparently, the new restaurant/bar will be called The Joint.

2008 ACC Tournament

UNC and Tyler Hansbrough have the #1 seed, and UVA and Sean Singletary have the #10 seed. I have high hopes for Virginia in the tournament. I truly think they have the talent to pull some big upsets.

Check out last year’s tournament bracket. #1 seed UNC beat #10 NC State in the finals 89-80. UVA has a chance….

The Corner neighborhood in Charlottesville might be on the verge of a major change. According to John Ruscher at a CVS Pharmacy might take over the buildings occupied by Plan 9 Music, Satellite Ballroom (including Higher Grounds Coffee), and Just Curry. Currently the change is a rumor hoovering around local Charlottesville blogs, but the building’s tenants have confirmed that the CVS change has been discussed.

In 2006 Robert Hargett and the Rebkee Company proposed a CVS at the corner of West Main Street and McIntire Road, but the proposal was shot down by Charlottesville’s Board of Architectural Review.

Would these businesses be missed? Coffee drinkers can go to Starbucks, dinners can get Thai food at Lemongrass, and music shoppers can get digital music online. The Ballroom is virtually the only venue on the Corner capable of holding concerts, but if this establishment leaves music fans will can make the trek downtown to listen to live music.

However, does the Corner need a CVS? Currently, there is Cohn’s on the Corner and two hole-in-the-wall mini-marts.

Furthermore, the Corner already has a Q’doba, Starbucks, and Jimmie John’s. The real question is, what kind of businesses do you want to see? Locally owned businesses that make the neighborhood unique or chain stores and restaurants that make the Corner look like every other commercial strip in America.