Central Place

Which C-ville landmark is referred to as “central place.” Could it be the Courthouse ? UVA ? Main Street ? The correct answer is the fountain located in the middle of the downtown mall. The fountain was designed, in part, to commemorate the wells that once lined Water Street and other downtown roads (see the earlier post on Wells along Water Street).

Central Place Fountain

Designed by Lawrence Halprin, the fountain contains 3 concrete structures. They symbolize the three notches carved into trees that originally marked the path of “Three Notched (or Chopped) Road” (today’s Main Street / Route 250). If you look carefully as you stroll along the mall you’ll find the historic sign that describes the path of this early road. The fountain was dedicated in 1976, when the mall was re-opened as a pedestrian walkway. Ironically, it was meant to be a gathering place, but a metal chain was later installed to discourage people from going into the fountain. To learn more about the fountain, read The Hook’s article titled “Fountainblue.”