Thomas Edison found in the Rotunda!

Just kidding. But this new discovery is kind of like a time capsule into part of his life.

Old buildings have a lot of secrets. And we all know walls can’t talk, unless we know how to persuade them.

Renovation architects are pretty adept at it though. Especially those working on the University of Virginia’s Rotunda.

A chemical hearth recently discovered in the walls of the Rotunda dates back to its Jeffersonian origins. Credit: Dan Addison/University of Virginia
A chemical hearth recently discovered in the walls of the Rotunda dates back to its Jeffersonian origins. Credit: Dan Addison/University of Virginia

They’ve been working for 2 years to restore the Rotunda. Now, they’ve unearthed a little bit of history in the form of a chemistry lab linked to Thomas Jefferson.

“It was a surprise, a very exciting one for us,” said Brian Hogg, senior historic preservation planner in the Office of the Architect for the University. “This may be the oldest intact example of early chemical education in this country.”

It’s pretty cool when you think about it.

I wonder what else they’ll find there.

Love, Lola

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