Anatomical Theatre Gallery

The Anatomical Theatre was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1825 in response to the high enrollment of students in the school of medicine, and the concerns of Dr. Robley Dunglison (the University's first professor of medicine) that Pavilion X would be unsuitable for the dissection of cadavers.  The theatre, located along what is now McCormick Road, was completed in late 1827 or early 1828, after Jefferson's death.  In 1886, the Anatomical Theatre was partially destroyed by a fire and rendered unusable, but was restored by 1888.  While the exterior brick walls survived the fire largely intact, changes were made to the original design- a door and some windows were bricked over, and the cupola and Chinese railing were omitted due to cost.  In 1920, Fiske Kimball, head of the Department of Art and Architecture at the University of Virginia, designed a portico to be added to the front of the Anatomical Theatre.  In 1924, the building was deemed unsafe for students, and the medical school moved to Hotel B (Washington Hall).  In 1925, a committee found the Anatomical Theatre to be salvageable, and it was remodeled for the School of Rural Social Economics.  With the construction of Alderman Library completed in 1938, the Anatomical Theatre was demolished in 1939 and its bricks salvaged and reused to make repairs to the serpentine walls and other original Jeffersonian buildings.

The Anatomical Theatre is the only Jefferson-designed building on Grounds to be torn down.