University of Virginia School of Architecture Holds Dean’s Forum

On Saturday September 22, 2012. Oehme, van Sweden Principal Eric Groft (MLA ’84)attended the 24th Annual Deans Forum for the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia.

This year, the event was held at Blue Ridge Farm, the home of Kim and Chuck Cory (BA ’77, JD/MBA ’82). Willam B. Smith had the central portion of this grand house built about the mid 19thCentury in the Georgian Style with a mansard roof. In the mid 1920’s, the Randolph Ortman’s retained the famous Georgian revival architect William Laurance Bottomley to refine and renovate the house and the talented Charles F. Gillette to design the gardens. The combination of their talents have resulted in one of the most beautiful Virginia Estates. Since 2002 , Charles R. and Kimberly S.coy have undertaken a sympathetic and masterful renovation of the house and grounds.

Eric was accompanied to the Dean’s Forum by his eldest son Forest. Drinks were held on the entry terrace as the sun set over the Blue Ridge mountains. Forest remarked on the magnificent collection of maps in the Map Room of the house. Following drinks, dinner was then held in the barn. The group of alumni was welcomed by Warren Buford, Executive Director of the School of Architecture Foundation and the Deans advisory Council president Allan Dynerman. Dean Kim Tanzer then addressed the attendees on the latest news from the school. A highlight of the evening occurred when Warren T. Byrd, Jr. was given the first annual A-School Distinguished Alumni Award.
The next morning father and son visited Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s country retreat outside of Lynchburg, Virginia where young Forest is a freshman at Lynchburg College. Eric had visited Monticello many times over the years and marveled at this personal, masterful house and garden that Jefferson considered to be the most innovative of any estate in the State of Virginia.