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In the shadow of Thomas Jefferson’s “Academical Village,” Morea is the only surviving dwelling built by one of the University of Virginia’s original faculty members. Erected in 1835, the singular structure was originally the home of John Patton Emmet, the university’s first professor of natural history. Born in Ireland, Emmet was the son of Irish nationalist Thomas Addis Emmet. He attended West Point and later studied medicine in New York City, gaining a reputation as a scientist and inventor. With its Chinese railing, fine brickwork, and interior arcade, the Charlottesville dwelling displays a number of affinities to Jefferson’s architecture and was likely erected by university workmen although Emmet wrote that it was “contrived by myself.” Acquired by the university in 1960, Morea serves as its official guest house. Its name is derived from Morus multicaulis, the Chinese mulberry tree which Emmet grew here while experimenting with silkworm culture.

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

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