tv Charlottesville Driving Tour CSPAN April 16, 2017 10:31am-10:49am EDT
then american west. of course all these historic figures were prolific writers and chronicle of events of their times. giving us a front row seat in the formation of our country and our government. >> welcome to charlottesville, virginia, on booktv. founded in 1762, charlottesville is the seed of albemarle county with a population of about 50,000. known for its rich history, this he attracts numerous people every year to explore monticel monticello, the home of thomas jefferson as well as the university of virginia founded by jefferson in 1819. with help help of our cable comcast cable partners for the next 90 minutes we will learn about the cities history and literary culture from local authors. we begin with a driving tour of the city. >> charlottesville is divided into three parts.
there's the city. there's the county of albemarle which surrounds the city, and the virginia with separate local governments for cities and counties and vignette university of virginia. and that really is the window through which you can understand local issues, local politics, history. there really is that cooperation and attention of those goings on between the three-part. >> we took a driving tour of the city with radio and television host coy barefoot. >> i know of charlottesville because it's on the back of the nickel. monticello, right? >> that is correct there were actually as we think we are driving towards monticello come as a matter fact it is that rise right there, the little mountain as he called it. thomas jefferson was born here april 13, 1743.
his father had moved out here to the west to get land, and his father was a surveyor who can actually co-authored in 1751, peter jefferson co-authored what was the official new map of virginia, which at that time it was nothing like it. it was the best map of virginia. so little tommy was raised on stories by this man who would go out and explore and make maps and discover. if you think about it, peter jefferson was using scientific experiments to make the unknown known, to create maps of what was to them wilderness, and to carve out of this unknown backcountry a beautiful image of a map. it's very poetic. it's a metaphor for jeffersons mind to come of this guy who is constantly learning, had
combined the idea of science and knowledge with discovery. >> so we're heading to the top of the hill now. >> we are climbing monticello. one time this was over 2000 acres in thomas jeffersons estate. and where we're going to go is the highest point on that former estate which jefferson called mount alto. >> are we seeing then monticello over there, right? >> yes. that is the little mountain. thomas jefferson's little mountain, monticello. again o this mountain was part f jeffersons 2000-acre estate, which of course we should point out where hundreds of people of color were enslaved for many years. >> we can see mulberry road from up here as well. >> yes. jefferson considered the industrial part of his estate where he had a number of little
factories and workshops that were manned by people of color. along there, just next to the garden. >> so we're getting more and more of a view of charlottesville. >> is in a great? >> what can we see from up here? >> you can see, the big white building right there, that's the university hospital. just be all that you can see the dome of the uva rotunda which is the historic core of university of virginia. just to the right of that you can see the big dome of the old university hall, the basketball arena which is built in the 1960s. and you can start to see really what is becoming a 21st century skyline of charlottesville. we are experiencing a tremendous boom in development and growth. and it's a good problem to have but it's still a challenge that we have. >> we have this great aerial view of downtown.
should we had the note? >> yes. let's go to the heart of downtown charlottesville. we are driving into downtown charlottesville to the old belmont neighborhood which develop and started in the 1890s. that is downtown charlottesville, our humble skyline, and you can see the pavilion which is at the east end of the downtown mall that is an outdoor music venue. we are going to be heading towards, you can see the very top of the old monticello hotel. it was opened in 1925 and does on a historic court, square and that's were going to go. that's the original heart of the town of charlottesville. >> you mentioned the downtown mall. that's sort of the showpiece of downtown. >> that's our postcard view, right? it is of the downtown mall. charlottesville is pedestrian
mall was created in 1976, and it was an effort to try to preserve the historic core of charlottesville. they basically closed off main street and bricked it and turn it into a pedestrian mall. it was a bit of an architectural and design fat in the 1970s to create these bricked pedestrian malls. most event in america did not survive. there are some that did very well and survived to this day, and charlottesville is a first part opened in 1976. it is since been expanded to the east, to the west into some sidestreets, and it is, has been a terrific investment in the community. now the downtown mall is filled with people constantly on weekend nights in the summer. you can't move down there. >> great restaurants, great local shops.
>> live music, art. it's just fantastic. but it was also we should point out it was really controversial at the time. when the city council made that decision to close off main street, if you think about it was completely counterintuitive. because they were responding to the fact that car culture of suburban sprawl, of all the new shopping centers that were opening on 29 north, north of town. and how are you going to keep people interested in downtown? how are we going to keep people coming downtown? they are all driving out into the suburbs. we will close off downtown to cars. it was completely counterintuitive, but it worked. so we are now in court square by the albemarle county courthouse. when they created charlottesville in 1762, they laid it out on either side of the three notched roads which was the historic colonial road
from richmond, across the blue ridge up into the valley. so charlottesville was a planned town laid out on either side of this historic colonial road, and the courthouse was located here on the hill, of which was on the edge of town, the original town, but this is the historic core of the town of charlottesville. >> i see the statue over there. who is depicted there? >> that statute is a 1909 confederate statue, called at the ready, which is the name of the statue and it depicts a confederate soldier who is standing with a gun battle ready, to go into battle to fight to preserve human slavery in america, which is what the confederacy certainly stood for in their constitution and in their other writings.
there's a number of confederate pro, south pro confederate statutes here in the city of charlottesville. it's been really contentious, as it is in communities across the south where they had these monuments that celebrate and venerate the historic u.s. confederacy. ed had to credit a lot of people of been part of this conversation -- and i have to credit a lot of people have been part of the statutes, that i think people have made an effort to have an enlightened, progressive, inclusive, truthful conversation. these statues did not go up during the civil war. they didn't go up in the late 1860s after the war. they didn't go up in the 1870s. they went up 60 years after the war, in the 1920s. most of them in the 1920s.
the stonewall jackson statue, the robert e lee statue. they were very much a part of what we now call the lost cause, which was the saltz narrative after the civil war. it was historic, writing a new history about the civil war and saying it had nothing really to do with slavery. it was only about states' rights pick even got the time of the support they were writing, this had a great deal to do with slavery. the robert e. lee statue goes up in 1924 and it is very much of a lost cause white supremacist statement on the landscape. so the charlottesville city council recently voted in a split decision 3-2 to remove the robert e. lee statue. they didn't talk about a stonewall jackson statue. they did talk about the 1909 confederate soldier statue. they specifically addressed robert e. lee which went up in
1924, a and the decision was to remove it. i don't think that they actually had the authority. the courts need to decide but it is still up in the air. does a city of virginia have the authority to remove a statue? there's been state legislation to keep those in place. i don't know if richman will let charlottesville remove that statute. there's also the question of where does the money come from to move it? it's not going to be cheap. i think that that statue is a boring, and what it -- a borate. the white tbilisi, the lost cause. that said i'm one of the people who believes it should stay. >> y? >> because it should be a tool that we can use to teach people about the lost cause, which most people have never heard of. but about a lost cause and about the past and look at the
attention between how we remember the past and i would talk about the past and what actually happened. i'd like to see new signage, new statues that talk about the civil rights movement here in charlottesville, but i think the statues will be there to remind people of what happened in the 1920s. >> so so now we are approaching the university part of town. you start to see to our left all of the buildings, some of them very new, that are part of the university medical system, which is one of the best in the entire country. we are now entering the heart of the university community at the top with you. you can see the rotunda which was the library and main classroom building as part of the academical village of that thomas jefferson designed. this section of town is called the corner.
this is the corner of the corner, it's where the historic entrance to the university grounds meets the main road down to charlottesville, forming a corner. today the corner refers to five city blocks, but this is the heart of the university community, where you have a lot of bars and restaurants and shops that cater to the university community. this long walk up to the rotunda here will take you up to the academical village and the rotunda in the long, university of virginia got the state charter in january of 1819, and classes open monday morning march 7, 1825. and jefferson lived just long enough to see the first year of classes. that it been a dream of his for over 40 years to create a new kind of university for what he truly believed was a new kind of country. >> y was that important to?
>> so public education specifically was important to jefferson because it actually fulfilled the dreams of 1776. you can have a revolution, but as long as the wealthy elites run everything, you're going to find yourself back in the same problems you were in before you had the revolution. so the key was creating a new kind of school that would teach the principles of the democratic enlightenment to successive generations. and that's what the university of virginia was all about. as far as jefferson was concerned, james madison who was just as much involved in the project that became the university of virginia, they believed that uva was the insurance policy for the american revolution. and that it would be here on the ground of university where the plane of the enlightenment with burn brighter than anywhere else
in the world. >> tony about the university today. >> the university today is comew it has gone from academical village to academical city, a little academical city with over 20,000 students, compared to many other significant universities. that's still relatively a medium-sized university. but it is quite big and sprawling today across much of what we would consider sort of a west end of charlottesville. >> we've seen monticello. we've driven through the downtown. now we're here on the university grounds. thinking back on the city as a whole you lived here for 30 years. what would you like to see for the future? what is your ideal dream for charlottesville? >> i don't dream for charlottesville. i know that charlottesville will continue to experience this
tremendous growth which were expensing right now. a lot of new construction, new development. we have made all of those great list that you could make the city to live, best place to live, best place to raise children, best place to retire, and on and on. we have been number one on all of those lists, which is great, and but i would hate for it to be a victim of its own success and the problems that we have are really the problems you want as a community. you want people to want to live in your community. you want people to live, visit and experience all the things that you love about your hometown. so my dream for charlottesville would be that as it grows and as we write this new century in brick and stone and mortar, not just on paper but as we write our story on the landscape, i would hope that people would
experience, i would hope people would have the experience that i have had a falling in love with a place and having it mean so much to you and your own experience in being alive and i would just hope that they would have that joy that i get every day, and that privilege that if you are being able to live here. in this little city i love. >> i'm here at university of virginia library with molly schwartzburg, curator of the special collections and she's going to be showing us their current exhibit on william faulkner. >> we are in the main gallery of the albert and shirley small special collections library at university of virginia. our current expedition is fall in her life work. this was a large expedition surveying the magnificent william faulkner collections that we have here at the