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Business and Commercial Uses

As the twentieth century progressed, Emmet Street (also U. S. Route 29) slowly developed as a linear service and retail district, first serving primarily the University community and then later the increasing commercial needs of the region. This first commercial growth occurred along Emmet Street north of the Lewis Mountain neighborhood as service establishments such as a dry cleaner, and a small number of gasoline and service stations, restaurants, and motor hotels developed for a clientele increasingly arriving by automobile. Modest shopping and service centers began to occupy some of the road frontages along Ivy Road in the 1950s to serve visitors and those traveling U.S. 250 West to the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, the affluent population living west of Charlottesville, and an influx of married and graduate students living nearby who contributed to a local boom in business and development in the period following World War II. Low-scaled hospitality services also emerged along the Ivy Road in the early 1950s. A one-story motor court (now called Commonwealth Court) developed on a portion of the lower elevations of Lewis Mountain; another out-parcel closer to Ivy Road (where the University of Virginia police is currently located) provided a restaurant site with a convenient onsite parking lot adjacent to the south edge of Ivy Road. As originally designed by architect William Hale, the mid-century commercial buildings were similar in style to many houses that he also designed within the Corridor and in other Charlottesville neighborhoods in the 1950s.

The 1963 development of the Boar’s Head Inn just west of the entrance to Farmington Country Club on the south side of the corridor established new outer limits of Ivy Road Corridor development, expanding once more Charlottesville’s western peri-urban edge. The Boar’s Head Inn was intended to provide a setting and atmosphere evocative of an English countryside inn. The University Foundation purchased the 573-acre property in 1989, and operates the inn, providing up-scale amenities and services, for the well-known venue for academic and other conferences, conventions, weddings, and other large gatherings attracted to its somewhat secluded and semi-rural setting. The University offers several varsity and intramural sports at the Boar’s Head Inn, including tennis and squash. Varsity golf is headquartered at the adjacent Birdwood property. The Boar’s Head Inn delineates the western boundary of the University of Virginia as well as that of our 2015 Ivy Road Vortex area.