The Smiths’ $22 million ‘expires’
The Daily Progress is reporting this morning that one of UVA's biggest-ever pledges has expired, throwing the prospect of a 1,200-seat concert hall on Emmet Street into turmoil.
The 2003 pledge of Carl and Hunter Smith to donate $22 million would have also created a black box theater, instructional spaces, and would have housed the marching band, which the Smiths launched through a separate $1.5 million gift.
The Smiths are perhaps best known for kicking off the $100 million rehab of Scott Stadium with a gift of $23 million. Carl Smith, a coal tycoon and UVA football star in his own right, died in December, 2005.
UVA spokesperson Carol Wood, who heralded the Smiths' pledge four years ago as a "gift to the Charlottesville-Albemarle community," says in the Progress story that Mrs. Smith is still a "leader" in the effort to create an arts gateway to the university but that this particular gift, since construction did not begin by a deadline, has "lapsed."
Perhaps one problem with the theater concept is competiton from the new venue explosion. Charlottesville has gone performance space crazy in the past five years. Let us count the ways:
Â¯Â¿Âœ PVCC's V. Earl Dickinson Theater
Â¯Â¿Âœ Gravity Lounge
Â¯Â¿Âœ Live Arts
Â¯Â¿Âœ Paramount Theater
Â¯Â¿Âœ Charlottesville Pavilion
Â¯Â¿Âœ John Paul Jones Arena
Â¯Â¿Âœ Jefferson Theater (under renovation)