Charlottesville’s Old Dominion Charm


If there was a place that I would have my home city learn from, it would be Charlottesville, Virginia.

In many ways they are similar. Both are historic cities with great heritage locations to boast with. Charlottesville is a charming city in the state of Virginia. It is the hometown of three US presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe. Iloilo, on the otherhand, is the second oldest city in the Philippines. It is the hometown of former Vice President Fernando Lopez, Graciano Lopes Jaena, and several notable national leaders. The difference: they are located in different parts of the world, and Charlottesville was able to preserve its heritage sites.

I learned that the city even has an ordinance imposing civil penalty to those who wrongfully demolish historic buidlings. Also, they provide incentives for the upkeep, rehabilitation and restoration of older structures, and encourage desirable uses and forms of development that will lead to the continuance, conservation and improvement of the city’s historic, cultural and architectural resources and institutions. 

Example of well-preserved heritage sites that Charlottesville, Virginia has to offer:


Historic Downtown Mall

The site of the old Main Street Charlottesville, this pedestrian mall is home to a vibrant collection of old buildings converted into useful spaces for shops and restaurants.


Downtown Mall 

Comparable to Iloilo’s Calle Real.


University of Virginia

The University is one of the legacies of Thomas Jefferson. One of the prominent spot is the Rotunda. The Rotunda, the architectual & intellectual heart of UVA, was designed by Jefferson himself and was based upon the Pantheon in Rome.


UVA Rotunda 

Comparable to Iloilo’s University of the Philippines, Central Philippine University, and University of San Agustin, among others.


Monticello/Montpelier/Ash Lawn-Highland

Homes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, respectively. Monticello is one of Jefferson’s most important project before he passed away, his retirement home. An image of Monticello can be found in the United States coin, nickel.




Comparable to Iloilo’s mansions.

Virginia is a wonderful place, particularly Charlottesville. It is very charming, so much so that most UVA graduates come back to the city to retire. Being a university city, it has everything one could ask for. Music scene, dining experience, intellectual discourse, even outdoor activities. In fact, it was declared 4th best place to live by Kiplinger’s Magazine in 2009, 2nd best place to retire by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2008, as well as one of 30 coolest place to live in the United States.  This just goes to show that modern living could go hand-in-hand with history and tradition.




for more photos





~ by Happy Sole on January 13, 2010.

5 Responses to “Charlottesville’s Old Dominion Charm”

  1. Nice post, Gwen. Reminds me of one of the happiest moments of my life. 🙂

  2. […] once compared Iloilo with Charlottesville in Virginia. Click here to read that entry. Why the comparison? They are both historic sites with great heritage […]

  3. […] was a great coincidence that my work brought me to Charlottesville because my first cousin lived less than two hours away in Richmond, the State Capital of […]

  4. […] “secret” cliff is too good to pass up when it was just along the highway back to Charlottesville where we were staying.  The wine robbed us of reason for that brief period of […]

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