500 Court Square

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500 Court Square
Monticello hotel postcard.jpeg
postcard showing the Monticello Hotel

County Area Charlottesville
District Charlottesville
Year Started 1924[1]

High School Charlottesville High School

Other Attributes

HOA 500 Court Square Association, Inc.
Website http://www.500courtsquare.com/

*Confirm attendance boundaries for individual homes with school divisions

500 Court Square, formerly the Monticello Hotel and Monticello Plaza Condominiums, is a commercial and residential condominium located in Court Square.


The idea for the Monticello Hotel came from a firm called the Jackson Park Hotel Company. The architects were Stanhope S. Johnson and R.O. Branham of Lynchburg. [2] Plans for the Colonial-style building included running ice water, radios in each room, mail chutes and other conveniences. The structure was originally to be named after James Monroe but was changed to Monticello because of national attention to the restoration of Monticello.

Plans were unveiled to contractors in early February 1925. They called for 138 bedrooms with a colonial style design. It was to have been the tallest building in Charlottesville and built adjacent to the Colonial Hotel, which served as an annex. [3]

The structure replaced a row of mercantile buildings.[1] The hotel opened in 1926.[4]

On October 11, 1929, Harry H. Gardiner, known as the "Human Fly", scaled the building in an event sponsored by the American Legion.[4]

The roof of the building once held a searchlight, dubbed the largest in the world, which was visible for 300 miles.[5]

The building was converted into the Monticello Plaza Condominiums in 1973 and later renamed 500 Court Square[citation needed].

On September 4, 1973, City Council passed an ordinance granting Monticello Plaza a 25-year lease beginning in 1975 for 125 parking spaces in the then to-be-built Market Street Parking Garage, with a discounted rent of $25 per month per space for the first 15 years, then standard rent thereafter.[6]

The building is home to the law firm Michie Hamlett[7] and the Court Square Tavern.[8]

Notable events

Photo gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Guide to historic Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, Jean L. Cooper, 2007 page 97.
  2. Web. Name of Proposed New Hotel Changed to The Monticello, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, January 13, 1925, retrieved May 12, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. January 13, 1925 page 1.
  3. Web. Monticello Hotel Plans Mailed To Contractors, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, printdate=February 4, 1925, retrieved May 18, 2016 from University of Virginia Library. Print. February 4, 1925 page 1.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Web. Charlottesville was abuzz over the Human Fly, David A. Maurer, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 9, 2010, retrieved May 11 2010. Print. May 9, 2010 page C1.
  5. Print. Historic Charlottesville Tour Book, Charlottesville's Historic Resource Task Force, in conjunction with The Albemarle County Historical Society 2002. Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., editor. ISBN 0-9722733-0-1. page 18
  6. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, September 4, 1973.
  7. Web. Largest Law Firms, Sarah Rodriguez, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, Dolan Media Company, Richmond, December 13 2007, retrieved 12 May 2010.
  8. Web. listing, Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau, retrieved 12 May 2010.
  9. Web. The Monticello is Under New Management, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, December 1, 1926, retrieved December 1, 2022. Print. December 1, 1926 page 1.

External links