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"What Will Last Beyond Today: John W. Kluge's Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art"; Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection; Through December 20

"What Will Last Beyond Today: John W. Kluge's Collection of Australian Aboriginal Art"; Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection; Through December 20

John Kluge’s donation of an extensive collection of Australian aboriginal artworks, presented to the University of Virginia in 1997, was extraordinary. So it makes sense for the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, born from that gift, to pay tribute to the man on the occasion of his 95th birthday. What’s successful about this celebratory exhibition is […]

September 2009: Strong as steel

September 2009: Strong as steel

For most homeowners, “D.I.Y. project” means painting a spare bedroom, maybe putting in a light fixture. For Daniel Kuttner, it meant building a house. From steel. By himself. Daniel Kuttner used 18-gauge steel to build a house in Meadowbrook Heights. He designed the floor plan to be easily modified. “There was an ease to this,” […]

Best example of a Charlottesvillian on a road trip

With a grant from the likes of National Geographic, and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of enthusiasm for other folks’ enthusiasms, Charlottesville’s own Ross McDermott and Andrew Owen gallivant around the country documenting, through photos and video, the oddball festivals and celebrations that mark small-town life. The World Beard and Moustache Championships in Anchorage, Alaska; the […]

Best (and worst) anti-landfill event

On January 31, something remarkable happened: A line of idling cars backed up from the Crutchfield parking lot onto Route 29N, filled with folks just itching to do a good deed. Over the course of six hours that Saturday, locals dropped off 109 tons of computers, stereos, phones, VCRs and other gadgets for recycling. We […]

Best bike revolutionaries

No self-respecting college town (or—let’s just say it—liberal oasis) can properly be without a core group of folks who are out there spreading the gospel of cooperative living and non-fossil-fuel transportation. It’d be like having no health food store. Meet your local ambassadors of the friendly fringe: Kassia Arbabi and Sky Blue. The two are […]

Best way to sleep under the stars

Best way to sleep under the stars

UVA architecture and engineering students made sleeping shelters out of the stuff that’s probably in your recycling bin right now. Back in September 2008, some beautiful and smart new ways to repose in the great outdoors sprouted in the yard of UVA architecture prof John Quale. They were the creations of architecture and engineering students […]

Best example of how the other 2 percent lives

Best example of how the other 2 percent lives

Scanning the highest-end real estate listings at mycaar.com is an eye-opening experience. Are you toiling at two-and-a-half jobs to keep up with your ballooning mortgage payments, knowing you owe 40 grand more than your house is actually worth? Or saving up for your very own double-wide in Buckingham County, from which you’ll be commuting 50 […]

Supes put time limit on exposed soil

Call it the ultimate red dirt alert. Several years ago, during development of Hollymead Town Centre on 29N, a large swath of bare ground sat with no vegetation. Seasons passed, and every rainstorm washed away more soil. “We live downstream from Hollymead Town Centre,” said Scott Elliff, a director of the Forest Lakes Community Association, […]

August 2009: Something bigger

August 2009: Something bigger

Five years ago, David and Jordan Phemister were feeling pretty good about what they’d just bought: an 800-square-foot bungalow in a prime Belmont location. Built in 1920, it still had original flooring and plaster, plus a charming front porch. Though it was small, it was enough space for the two of them. The Phemisters travel […]

Cost of creating water plan is tough to quantify

Cost of creating water plan is tough to quantify

It’s been more than a month since the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) announced on June 25 that it had fired Gannett Fleming, the engineering firm that developed the community’s water supply plan approved in 2006. What does the change mean for the ongoing debate about the plan? Unsurprisingly, it depends whom you ask. […]

Underground petroleum tanks mar Albemarle drinking water

Underground petroleum tanks mar Albemarle drinking water

People who are buying houses have plenty to think about. There’s the matter of how much to offer and what type of mortgage to take out. There’s the need to get a home inspection and consider whether any problems —leaky roof, sagging porch—are worth asking the sellers to fix before closing. You have to arrange to move from wherever you’re living; you have to get termite, water and septic tests; you have to deal with title companies and insurance companies and interest rates and points. And all this comes after the decisions about who your agent will be and, of course, which property you want to buy.

July 2009: "Let the sun do it"

July 2009: "Let the sun do it"

One of the great things about being an architect, it seems—aside from the chance to design one’s own dwelling—is the ability to discuss that dwelling in all kinds of interesting terms. A courtyard is enclosed by one of three L-shaped concrete walls that form the structure of Parcel X, Peter and Nancy Waldman’s North Garden […]