Not gonna lie. This was not an easy story to write. The sources were great and the editor perceptive, but the subject matter itself was challenging: a decades-old architectural controversy that few wanted to go on record speaking about negatively.
But there was another tension at the heart of the piece, the fact that at the University of Virginia nothing escapes the gravitational pull of the ideas of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. That force — constraining or inspiring, probably always both — is inescapable. As I wrote, “University leaders and planners can push toward, pull from, and have a thousand splintered attitudes about this reference, but UVA will never know what it is like not to have it.”