Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville, is an independent city
in the Commonwealth
. It is the county seat
of Albemarle County
, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities.
It is named after the British Queen consort
(and Electress of Hanover
) Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
, who as the wife of George III
was Virginia's last Queen. In 2019, an estimated 47,266 people lived within the city limits.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis
combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing its population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area
, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham
, and Nelson
Charlottesville was the home of two presidents
, Thomas Jefferson
and James Monroe
. During their terms as Governor of Virginia
, they lived in Charlottesville, and traveled to and from Richmond
, along the historic Three Notch'd Road
, located northeast of the city, was the hometown of President James Madison
. The University of Virginia
, founded by Jefferson and one of the original Public Ivies
, straddles the city's southwestern border. Monticello
, southeast of the city, is, along with the University of Virginia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
, attracting thousands of tourists every year.
At the time of European encounter, part of the area that became Charlottesville was occupied by a Monacan
village called ''Monasukapanough''.
An Act of the Assembly of Albemarle County established Charlottesville in 1762. Thomas Walker was named its first trustee. It was situated along a trade route called Three Notched Road
(present day U.S. Route 250
), which led from Richmond
to the Great Valley
. The town took its name from Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
, who became queen consort
of Great Britain
(and by extension British North America
) when she married King George III
from its gardens
During the American Revolutionary War
, Congress imprisoned the Convention Army
in Charlottesville at the Albemarle Barracks
between 1779 and 1781.
The Governor and legislators had to temporarily abandon the capitol and on June 4, 1781, Jack Jouett
warned the Virginia Legislature meeting at Monticello
of a planned raid by Colonel Banastre Tarleton
, allowing a narrow escape.
Civil War and Reconstruction
Unlike much of Virginia, Charlottesville was spared the brunt of the American Civil War
. The only battle to take place in Charlottesville was the skirmish at Rio Hill
, an encounter in which George Armstrong Custer
briefly engaged local Confederate Home Guard
s before retreating. A year later, the Charlottesville Factory, founded c. 1820–30, was accidentally burnt during General Philip Sheridan
's 1865 raid through the Shenandoah Valley, although the mayor had surrendered the city to Generals Custer and Sheridan to keep the town from being burned. The factory had been taken over by the Confederacy and used to manufacture woolen clothing for the soldiers. It caught fire when some coals taken by Union troops to burn the nearby railroad bridge dropped on the floor. The factory was rebuilt immediately and was known as the Woolen Mills until its liquidation in 1962.
After the Civil War, emancipated slaves who remained in Charlottesville established communities in neighborhoods such as Vinegar Hill.
Segregation and Jim Crow laws
After Reconstruction ended, Charlottesville's black population suffered under Jim Crow laws
that segregated public places and limited opportunity. Schools were segregated by race and blacks were not served in many local businesses. Public parks were planned separately for the white and black populations: four for whites, and one for blacks built on the site of a former dump. The Ku Klux Klan
had chapters in the Charlottesville area beginning at least in the early twentieth century, and events such as lynchings
and cross burning
s occurred in the Charlottesville area. In 1898, Charlottesville resident John Henry James
was lynched in the nearby town of Ivy. In August 1950, three white men were observed burning a cross on Cherry Avenue, a street in a mostly African-American neighborhood
It was speculated that the cross burning might be a reaction to "a white man ho
had been known to socialize with one of the young Negro women in that vicinity."
In 1956, crosses were burned outside a progressive church and the home of white integration activist Sarah Patton Boyle
In 1947 Charlottesville organized a local NAACP
In 2001, the Charlottesville and Albemarle Branches of the NAACP merged to form the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP Branch.
In the fall of 1958, Charlottesville closed its segregated white schools as part of Virginia's strategy of massive resistance
to federal court orders requiring integration as part of the implementation of the Supreme Court of the United States
decision ''Brown v. Board of Education
''. The closures were required by a series of state laws collectively known as the Stanley Plan
. Negro schools remained open, however.
The first African-American member of the Charlotteville School Board was Raymond Bell in 1963.
In 1963, later than many Southern cities, civil rights activists in Charlottesville began protesting segregated restaurants with sit-in
s, such as one that occurred at Buddy's Restaurant near the University of Virginia.
In 1965, the city government razed the downtown African American neighborhood Vinegar Hill
as an urban renewal
project, after the city council passing a law that "unsanitary and unsafe" properties could be taken over by a housing authority
. One hundred thirty homes, five Black-owned businesses, and a church were destroyed. Many displaced community members moved into the Westhaven public housing project. The land was not redeveloped until the late 1970s.
Despite razing this small area comprising about 20 acres abutting West Main Street in the City's commercial downtown area, Charlottesville maintained its vibrant black community spanning the much larger and still extant Ridge Street and Fifeville neighborhoods to the south, and the Tenth & Page and Rose Hill neighborhoods to the north. Neighborhood civic associations, social clubs and church groups sponsored activities for its residents. The Blue Mints Social Club met at the home of Mrs. Reva Shelton on December 1, 1974. At this meeting, the group planned their annual "Baskets of Cheer," hosted a Cabaret Dance on New Year's Eve at Carver Recreation Center, with the Randolph Brothers performing. In 1974, other social clubs listed are the Bethune Art and Literary Club, The Lucky Twenty Club, and the Les Amies Club.
Conflict over Confederate symbols
Starting in the 2010s Charlottesville received national attention because of local conflict between those who do and those who do not want Confederate symbols removed. ''The Washington Post
'' has reported that "Nowhere has this clash been more fraught than in Charlottesville, where parks have been renamed, then renamed again, streets have been re-christened, and stickers bearing white supremacist slogans go up as quickly as activists can remove them."
City attempts to remove statues of Robert E. Lee
and Stonewall Jackson
from downtown parks have been the subject of extensive, unresolved litigation. In August 2017, white supremacist
groups opposed to their removal organized the "Unite the Right rally
", to protest against the removal of the ''Robert E. Lee''
statue from then Lee Park, subsequently renamed Emancipation Park
. After the rally, a white nationalist drove a car into protesters
, resulting in the death of protester Heather Heyer
and causing injuries to 19 others.
[Joe Heim, Ellie Silverman, T. Rees Shapiro & Emma Brown (August 12, 2017)]
"One dead as car strikes crowds amid protests of white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville; two police die in helicopter crash"
, ''The Washington Post''.
The incident became national news and Charlottesville became a symbol of political turbulence nationwide.
On July 1, 2019, the Charlottesville City Council voted 4 to 1 to drop Thomas Jefferson's birthday as a city holiday; according to news stories, this was because Jefferson was a slave owner. In a separate vote, they unanimously created a new day of celebration called Liberation and Freedom Day
, to be celebrated on March 3, the day in 1865 when Gen. Philip Sheridan
's troops rolled through town and found a population that was majority enslaved - and although emancipation for most of them didn't occur on that day, it was the opening salvo for a lot of Charlottesvillians' freedom.
Christ Episcopal Church was Charlottesville's first church. It was begun in 1820 by builders on loan from Thomas Jefferson, and the congregation's current home was completed in the early 1900s.
The first black church in Charlottesville, the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville, was established in 1864. Previously, it was illegal for African-Americans to have their own churches, although they were allowed to worship in designated areas in white churches, if the white church members allowed it. Its first black pastor (previously, it was required by law that all churches have white pastors), was William D. Gibbons
. The date he became pastor is not known with certainty, but was about 1868. A current predominantly African-American church can trace its lineage to that first church.
Congregation Beth Israel's
1882 building is the oldest synagogue building
still standing in Virginia. In 1974, some of the Baptist churches in Charlottesville included the Union Run Baptist Church, the South Garden Baptist Church, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
The first Catholic
church in Charlottesville was the Church of the Paraclete, built in 1880 and erected as a parish in 1896. In 1906 the church building was renovated and the parish was renamed to Holy Comforter. A second parish was erected for the growing Catholic population in 1976 called the Church of the Incarnation. In 1967 a Dominican
-run parish for Catholic students at the University of Virginia was dedicated (replacing a Newman Center
begun in 1943), and named St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish.
at the University of Virginia
, designed by Thomas Jefferson
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of , virtually all of which is land.
Charlottesville is located in the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia along the Rivanna River
, a tributary of the James
, just west of the Southwest Mountains, itself paralleling the Blue Ridge
about to the west.
Charlottesville is from Washington, D.C.
and from Richmond
Charlottesville has a four-season humid subtropical climate
''Cfa''), with all months being well-watered, though the period from May to September is the wettest. Winters are somewhat cool, with a January average of , though lows can fall into the teens (< −7 °C) on some nights and highs frequently (11 days in January) reach .
Spring and autumn provide transitions of reasonable length. Summers are hot and humid, with July averaging and the high exceeding on 33 or more days per year.
Snowfall is highly variable from year to year but is normally light, averaging . What does fall does not remain on the ground for long. Extremes have ranged from on January 19, 1994 up to , most recently on September 7, 1954.
As of the census
of 2010, there were 43,475 people, 17,778 households, and 7,518 families residing in the city. The population density
was 4,220.8 people per square mile (1,629.5/km2
). There were 19,189 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 69.1% White
, 19.4% Black American
, 0.3% Native American
, 6.4% Asian
, 1.8% from other races
, and 3.0% from two or more races. 5.1% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos
of any race.
There were 17,778 households, out of which 17.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.1% were married couples
living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.7% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.
The age distribution was 14.9% under the age of 18, 24.3% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. The population was 52.3% female and 47.7% male. The city's low median age and the "bulge" in the 18-to-24 age group are both due to the presence of the University of Virginia
The median income for a household in the city was $44,535, and the median income for a family was $63,934. The per capita income
for the city was $26,049. About 10.5% of families and 27.3% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
20% of Charlottesville residents have a graduate or professional degree, compared with 10% in the United States as a whole.
Federally, Charlottesville is part of Virginia's 5th congressional district
, represented by Republican Denver Riggleman, elected in 2018.
The city of Charlottesville has an overall crime rate
higher than the national average, which tends to be a typical pattern for urban areas of the Southern United States
The total crime index
for Charlottesville was 487.9 crimes
committed per 100,000 citizens for the year of 2006; the national average for the United States was 320.9 crimes committed per 100,000 citizens. For the year of 2006, Charlottesville ranked higher on all violent crime
s except for robbery
; the city ranked lower in all categories of property crime
s except for larceny theft
. In 2013 there were a total of 371 crimes reported; of these 38 were violent crime
s and 333 were property crime
s. A downward trend in the number of reported crimes within Charlottesville occurred from 2009 up to 2013.
Charlottesville is the home of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
headquarters, the Leander McCormick Observatory
and the CFA Institute
. It is served by two area hospitals, the Martha Jefferson Hospital
founded in 1903, and the University of Virginia Hospital
. The National Ground Intelligence Center
(NGIC) is in the Charlottesville area. Other large employers include Crutchfield
, Emerson Automation Solutions
and SNL Financial
18% of people employed in Charlottesville live there, while 82% commute into the city. 42% of those commuting to Charlottesville live in Albemarle County
. Additionally, 11,497 people commute from Charlottesville outside of the city for employment. 51% of those commuting from Charlottesville work in Albemarle County. In 2016, Charlottesville had a 3.3% unemployment rate.
According to the City's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report the largest employers in the city are:
As of 2016, 11,129 people work for the government, with 376 working for the federal government, 7,796 working for the state government, and 2,957 working for the local government.
Charlottesville has nine breweries within or near its city limits: South Street Brewery (owned by Blue Mountain Brewery
), Champion Brewing Company, Three Notch'd Brewing Company, Random Row Brewing Company, Rockfish Brewing Company, Wild Wolf Brewing Company, Pro Re Nata Brewery, Reason Beer (Albemarle), and Decipher Brewing (Albemarle). The first brewery in the City was Blue Ridge Brewery, located on West Main Street, and was owned and managed by grandchildren of writer William Faulkner. Starr Hill Brewery
was originally based in Charlottesville but is today located in Crozet, Virginia
, 13 miles west of the city.
Attractions and culture
Church in the historic district of downtown Charlottesville (pictured July 2011) has since been renovated.
Charlottesville has a large series of attractions and venues for its relatively small size. Visitors come to the area for wine and beer tours, ballooning, hiking, and world-class entertainment that perform at one of the area's four larger venues. The city is both the launching pad and home of the Dave Matthews Band
as well as the center of a sizable indie music scene.
The Charlottesville area was the home of Thomas Jefferson
, James Madison
, and James Monroe
, Jefferson's plantation manor, is located just a few miles from downtown. The home of James Monroe
, Ash Lawn-Highland
, is down the road from Monticello
. About northeast of Charlottesville lies the home of James and Dolley Madison
. During the summer, the Ash Lawn-Highland Opera Festival is held at the downtown Paramount Theater with a performance at Ash Lawn-Highland.
The nearby Shenandoah National Park
offers recreational activities, scenic mountains and hiking trails. Skyline Drive
is a scenic drive that runs the length of the park, alternately winding through thick forest and emerging upon sweeping scenic overlooks. The Blue Ridge Parkway
, a similar scenic drive that extends south to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
in North Carolina
, terminates at the southern entrance of Shenandoah, where it turns into Skyline Drive. This junction of the two scenic drives is only west of downtown Charlottesville.
is a center of business for Albemarle County
. It is home to the Downtown Mall
, one of the longest outdoor pedestrian malls in the nation, with stores, restaurants, and civic attractions. The renovated Paramount Theater
hosts various events, including Broadway shows and concerts. Local theatrics downtown includes Charlottesville's community theater Live Arts
. Outside downtown are the New Lyric Theatre and Heritage Repertory Theatre at UVa. Other attractions on the Downtown Mall are the Virginia Discovery Museum
and a 3,500 seat outdoor amphitheater, the Sprint Pavilion (formerly the nTelos Wireless Pavilion). Court Square, just a few blocks from the Downtown Mall, is the original center of Charlottesville and several of the historic buildings there date back to the city's founding in 1762.
Charlottesville also is home to the University of Virginia
(most of which is legally in Albemarle County). During the academic year, more than 20,000 students pour into Charlottesville to attend the university. Its main grounds are located on the west side of Charlottesville, with Thomas Jefferson
's Academical Village, known as the Lawn
, as the centerpiece. The Lawn is a long esplanade crowned by two prominent structures, The Rotunda
(designed by Jefferson) and Old Cabell Hall (designed by Stanford White
). Along the Lawn and the parallel Range
are dormitory rooms reserved for distinguished students. The University Programs Council is a student-run body that programs concerts, comedy shows, speakers, and other events open to the students and the community, such as the annual "Lighting of the Lawn". One block from The Rotunda, the University of Virginia Art Museum exhibits work drawn from its collection of more than 10,000 objects and special temporary exhibitions from sources nationwide. It is also home to the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School
where all U.S. Army military lawyers, known as "JAGs", take courses specific to military law.
is the commercial district
abutting the main grounds of the University of Virginia along University Avenue. This area is full of college bars, eateries, and University merchandise stores, and is busy with student activity during the school year. Pedestrian traffic peaks during the University's home football games and graduation ceremonies. Much of the University's Greek life
is on the nearby Rugby Road
, contributing to the nightlife and local bar scene. West Main Street, running from the Corner to the Downtown Mall
, is a commercial district of restaurants, bars, and other businesses.
Charlottesville is host to the annual Virginia Film Festival
in October, the Charlottesville Festival of the Photograph in June, and the Virginia Festival of the Book in March. In addition, the Foxfield Races
races held in April and September of each year. A Fourth of July
celebration, including a Naturalization
Ceremony, is held annually at Monticello, and a First Night
celebration has been held on the Downtown Mall since 1982.
, home of the Virginia Cavaliers
Charlottesville has no professional sports teams, but is home to the University of Virginia
's athletic teams, the Cavaliers
, most notably the 2019 NCAA Men's National Basketball Champions. The Cavaliers have a wide fan base throughout the region. The Cavaliers field teams in sports from soccer to basketball, and have modern facilities that draw spectators throughout the year. Cavalier football
season draws the largest crowds during the academic year, with football games played in Scott Stadium
. The stadium hosted large musical events, including concerts by the Dave Matthews Band
, The Rolling Stones
John Paul Jones Arena
, which opened in 2006, is the home arena of the Cavalier basketball
teams, in addition to serving as a site for concerts and other events. The arena seats 14,593 for basketball. In its first season in the new arena concluded in March 2007, the Virginia men's basketball team tied with UNC
for 1st in the ACC. Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball won the ACC outright in the 2013–14 season, as well as the 2014 ACC Tournament
. The team finished the season ranked #3 in the AP poll before losing to Tom Izzo
by two points in the Sweet Sixteen held in Brooklyn, New York.
has become a significant part of the Charlottesville sports scene. The Virginia Men's team won their first NCAA Championship
in 1972; in 2006, they won their fourth National Championship and were the first team to finish undefeated in 17 games (then a record for wins). The team won its fifth National Championship in 2011. Virginia's Women's team has three NCAA Championships
to its credit, with wins in 1991, 1993, and 2004. The soccer program is also strong; the Men's team shared a national title with Santa Clara in 1989 and won an unprecedented four consecutive NCAA Division I Championships (1991–1994). Their coach during that period was Bruce Arena
, who later won two MLS titles at D.C. United and coached the U.S. National Team during the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. The Virginia Men's soccer team won the NCAA Championship again in both 2009
under coach George Gelnovatch
. Virginia's baseball
team, has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years, under Head Coach Brian O'Connor, after hosting several regionals and Super Regionals in the post-season, and playing in the 2009, 2011, and 2014 College World Series
. They finished as runners-up in the 2014 edition, despite outscoring Vanderbilt
17–12 in the three-game series. The team then avenged this loss the following year, beating Vanderbilt in 2015 for its first NCAA baseball title.
Charlottesville area high school sports have been prominent throughout the state. Charlottesville is a hotbed for lacrosse in the country, with teams such as St. Anne's-Belfield School
, The Covenant School
, Tandem Friends School
, Charlottesville Catholic School
, Charlottesville High School
, Western Albemarle High School
and Albemarle High School
. Charlottesville High School won the VHSL
Group AA soccer championship in 2004. St. Anne's-Belfield School won its fourth state private-school championship in ten years in football in 2006. The Covenant School won the state private-school title in boys' cross country in the 2007–2008 school year, the second win in as many years, and that year the girls' cross country team won the state title. Monticello High School
won the VHSL Group AA state football title in 2007. Charlottesville High School's soccer team were state champs again in 2019, when it won the VHSL Class 4A Championship.
Charlottesville is also home to the Charlottesville Tom Sox
of the Valley Baseball League
who won the 2017 & 2019 league championships. Their home stadium is C-VILLE Weekly Ballpark at Charlottesville High School.
Government and politics
Voters elect a five-member council to serve as the legislative and governing body. Elected through at-large districts, the members serve four-year terms. Every two years, they select a councilor to serve as mayor. The mayor presides over meetings, calls special meetings, makes some appointments to advisory boards, and serves as the ceremonial head of government.
The City Council appoints the City Manager, the Director of Finance, the City Assessor, the Clerk of the Council, and members of major policy-making Boards and Commissions. The City Manager serves as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City.
According to thofficial page
the current city council are:
Charlottesville is one of the few Democratic bastions in heavily Republican central Virginia. It has swung particularly hard to the Democrats since the 1990s, in tandem with the growing Democratic trend in areas dominated by college towns.
, situated on The Lawn
The University of Virginia
, one of the original Public Ivies
, is located in the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle.
Piedmont Virginia Community College
maintains several locations in Charlottesville.
Charlottesville is served by the Charlottesville City Public Schools
. The school system operates six elementary schools, Walker Upper Elementary School, Buford Middle School
and Charlottesville High School
. It operated Lane High School
jointly with Albemarle County from 1940–1974, when it was replaced by Charlottesville High School. Jackson P. Burley High School
, a segregated school for African American students, was in operation from 1951-1967 and served students from both the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Burley High School was purchased by Albemarle County soon after it closed, and reopened in 1974 as Jackson P. Burley Middle School.
Albemarle County Public Schools
, which serves nearby Albemarle County
, has its headquarters in Charlottesville.
Charlottesville also has the following private schools, some attended by students from Albemarle County and surrounding areas:
* Charlottesville Waldorf School
* The Covenant School
* Regents School of Charlottesville
* Renaissance School
* St. Anne's-Belfield School
(Greenway Rise campus)
* Village School
* The Virginia Institute of Autism
* Peabody School
City children also attend several private schools in the surrounding county
. Those with Charlottesville postal addresses include:
* Charlottesville Catholic School
* The Covenant School
* Tandem Friends School
Jefferson-Madison Regional Library
is the regional library system that provides services to the citizens of Charlottesville.
Charlottesville has a main daily newspaper, ''The Daily Progress
''. Weekly publications include ''C-Ville Weekly,'' which also publishes quarterly, bi-annual, and yearly glossies such as ''Abode'' (home, garden, architecture), ''Knife & Fork'' (food, drink, restaurants), ''Unbound,'' (outdoor sports and recreation, environmental issues), ''Best of C-VILLE'' (readers' favorite restaurants, bars, shops, etc.), ''CBIZ'' (local business), and ''Weddings.'' Other magazines published locally include ''Blue Ridge Outdoors'', ''Charlottesville Family Living'' and ''Albemarle Magazine''. A daily newspaper, ''The Cavalier Daily
'', is published by an independent student group at UVa. Additionally, the alternative newsmagazine of UVa, ''The Declaration'', is printed every other week with new online content every week. The monthly newspaper ''Echo'' covers holistic health
and related topics. ''Charlottesville Tomorrow'', an online nonprofit news organization, covers land use, transportation, business and education. Other lifestyle publications include ''The Charlottesville Welcome Book'', CharlottesvilleFamily's ''Bloom! Magazine'', ''Wine & Country Life'' and ''Wine & Country Weddings''.
Charlottesville is served by major television networks through stations WVIR
29 (NBC/CW on DT2), WHTJ
41 (PBS), WCAV
19 (CBS/FOX), and WVAW-LD
16 (ABC). News-talk radio in Charlottesville can be heard on WINA
1070 and WCHV
1260. Sports radio can be heard on WVAX
1450. Country can be heard on WKAV
1400. National Public Radio
stations include WMRA
103.5 FM and WVTF
89.7 FM. Commercial FM stations include WQMZ
Lite Rock Z95.1 (AC), WWWV
(3WV) (classic rock) 97.5, WCYK
(country) 99.7, WHTE
(CHR) 101.9, WZGN (Generations) 102.3, WCNR
(The Corner) 106.1 and WCHV-FM
107.5. Charlottesville community broadcasters include WNRN
91.9 and WTJU
91.1 (owned by the University of Virginia) radio and CPA-TV and Charlottesville's Own TV10 television stations.
Roads and highways
The most significant highways passing through Charlottesville are Interstate 64
and U.S. Route 29
. I-64 heads east to Interstate 95
and west to Interstate 81
. US 29 heads southwest towards Lynchburg
and northeast to Washington, D.C.
Other highways serving Charlottesville include U.S. Route 250
and Virginia State Route 20
. US 29 and US 250 are served locally by bypasses around downtown, with business routes passing directly through downtown.
Charlottesville is served by Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport
, the Charlottesville Amtrak Station
, and a Greyhound Lines
intercity bus terminal. Direct bus service to New York City
is also provided by the Starlight Express
. Charlottesville Area Transit
provides area bus service, augmented by JAUNT, a regional paratransit
van service. University Transit Service
provides mass transit for students and residents in the vicinity of the University of Virginia.
, the national passenger rail service, provides service to Charlottesville with three routes: The ''Cardinal''
(service between Chicago and New York City via central Virginia and Washington, D.C.), select ''Northeast Regional
'' trains (service between Boston and Roanoke) and the ''Crescent''
(service between New York City and New Orleans). The ''Cardinal'' operates three times a week, while the ''Crescent'' and ''Northeast Regional'' both run daily in both directions.
Charlottesville was once a major rail hub, served by both the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
(C&O) and the Southern Railway
. The first train service to Charlottesville began in the early 1850s by the Louisa Railroad Company, which became the Virginia Central Railroad
before becoming the C&O. The Southern Railway started service to Charlottesville around the mid-1860s with a north–south route crossing the C&O east-west tracks. The new depot that sprang up at the crossing of the two tracks was called Union Station. In addition to the new rail line, Southern located a major repair shop that produced competition between the two rail companies and bolstered the local economy. The Queen Charlotte Hotel went up on West Main street along with restaurants for the many new railroad workers.
The former C&O station on East Water Street was turned into offices in the mid-1990s. Charlottesville Union Station
, still a functional depot for Amtrak, is located on West Main street between 7th and 9th streets where the tracks of the former C&O Railway (leased by C&O successor CSX
to Buckingham Branch Railroad
) and Southern (now Norfolk Southern Railway
) lines cross. Amtrak and the city of Charlottesville finished refurbishing the station just after 2000, upgrading the depot and adding a full-service restaurant. The Amtrak Crescent travels on Norfolk Southern's dual north–south tracks. The Amtrak Cardinal runs on the Buckingham Branch east-west single track, which follows U.S. Route 250
to a point east of Charlottesville near Cismont. The eastbound Cardinal joins the northbound Norfolk Southern line at Orange
, on its way to Washington, D.C.
Charlottesville also had an electric streetcar line, the Charlottesville and Albemarle Railway
(C&A), that operated during the early twentieth century. Streetcar lines existed in Charlottesville since the late 1880s under various names until organized as the C&A in 1903. The C&A operated streetcars until 1935, when the line shut down due to rising costs and decreased ridership.
There are proposals to extend Virginia Railway Express
, the commuter rail
line connecting Northern Virginia
to Washington, D.C.
, to Charlottesville. Also, the Transdominion Express
steering committee has suggested making Charlottesville a stop on the proposed statewide passenger rail line.
Since the city's early formation, it has been home to numerous notable individuals, from historic figures Thomas Jefferson
and James Monroe
, to literary giants Edgar Allan Poe
and William Faulkner
, to NFL player Ralph Horween
. In the present day, Charlottesville's Albemarle County is or has been the home of movie stars Rob Lowe
, Sissy Spacek
, Jessica Lange
and Sam Shepard
, novelist John Grisham
, the poet Rita Dove
, the Dave Matthews Band
, and the pop band Parachute
, as well as multi-billionaires John Kluge
and Edgar Bronfman Sr.
Between 1968 and 1984, Charlottesville was also the home of Anna Anderson
, best known for her false claims to be Grand Duchess Anastasia
and lone survivor of the 1918 massacre of Nicholas II
's royal family.
The city was also home of the Tibetan lama Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
, but he and his family have since moved to California. His Ligmincha Institute headquarters, Serenity Ridge, is in nearby Shipman, Virginia
Charlottesville has four sister cities
* Poggio a Caiano
* 2017 Unite the Right rally
* Liberation and Freedom Day
* Lynching of John Henry James
* Mayors of Charlottesville, Virginia
* National Register of Historic Places listings in Charlottesville, Virginia
* People from Charlottesville, Virginia
* Topics related to Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville During the Civil War in ''Encyclopedia Virginia''
Category:Cities in Virginia
Category:University towns in the United States
Category:County seats in Virginia
Category:Cities in the Charlottesville, Virginia metropolitan area
Category:1762 establishments in Virginia