Founded in 1907, the purpose of the Colonnade Club is to foster social, cultural, and intellectual interchange among its members and to promote the welfare of the University and its faculty. In fulfilling this mission, the Club utilizes and serves as steward for Pavilion VII, the historic facilities provided to it by the University. Today, the Club has grown to over 1,000 members and provides a wide variety of opportunities to socialize, network, and feel more “at home” at U.Va. In commemoration of the Colonnade Club’s 100th Anniversary in 2007, the University’s Board of Visitors put forth a resolution honoring the Club for its service to the University community.
The Club is housed in Pavilion VII, the oldest building on the Lawn as well as the only pavilion that does not serve as a faculty residence. The cornerstone was laid on October 6, 1817, by President James Monroe during a Masonic ceremony that ex-presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison attended. The scene was particularly significant for Jefferson because he had designed the brick pavilion that became the first structure in his “Academical Village.” Once the smallest pavilion on The Lawn, it is now the largest, having had two additions built on it—one begun in 1855 and another in 1913.
A two-and-a-half year restoration of the pavilion was completed in 2001, giving Club members a beautiful space in which to enjoy events or simply relax during the day. Pavilion VII also features eight guest rooms, each with a private bath, which members may reserve for overnight visits, either for themselves or their guests. The Club’s public rooms may also be rented for meetings, social events, and celebrations.
Mr. Jefferson’s university is the only higher education institution included on the United Nations’ World Heritage List, a roster of properties of international cultural significance. As the oldest building in the Academical Village, Pavilion VII commands special recognition, and the Colonnade Club is proud to have this building as its home.