A Hokie VT in Wahoo Country
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 5/4/98

Note from Will:  there was a story making the rounds last November, about the time of the Tech/UVa game, that told the tale of a Virginia Tech graduate who had somehow managed to get the University of Virginia to build a monument to Virginia Tech in UVa's Scott Stadium.  A very large monument.  A very large "VT."

First, let me rerun the story as it appeared in The Richmond Times-Dispatch last November.  Without further ado, here's the article.  It is, of course, copyrighted, as the notice at the bottom indicates.

A Tech man pulls off the ultimate prank
Wednesday, November 26, 1997
by Ray McAllister of The Richmond Times-Dispatch

Colleges are famous for pulling pranks against their rivals.

Or perhaps infamous.

Army is always trying to get Navy's goat, you know — both figuratively and literally. West Point students have taken the Navy mascot several times over the years.

Mascot kidnapping is always a favorite. So, too, is sneaking onto the other campus to paint a beloved statue in your own school colors — or even painting your logo in the middle of the other team's football field.

But has anyone ever built a building? . . .

Let's go back to 1982.

Mark Lindsey was fresh out of Virginia Tech, working at the prestigious Richmond architectural firm of Baskervill and Sons. One of the firm's projects was a new locker room/dining room next to the football stadium at the University of Virginia.

"We had done several designs," said Lindsey, now a partner with Baskervill. "They didn't like any of them."

The architects sat with an aerial picture of the stadium and started brainstorming. They threw out ideas — good ideas, bad ideas, partial ideas, half-baked ideas.

Lindsey had one.

"I guess where my design came from — and I was a recent Tech graduate — was, at the end of the stadium, we had this giant V-shaped opening," Lindsey said. "And I had a late-night inspiration that what was the best thing to put in this V-shaped opening was a 'T,' "

As in VT.

As in Virginia Tech.

So he drew a T-shaped building. "To make the 'T' more pronounced," he said, "I put a clear-shaped building and raised the roof up, [then] added patios and put on canopies."

It was kicked in with about five Baskervill proposals, Lindsey said. Virginia officials narrowed it to two and asked for more work on them.

"My biggest fear during the whole thing was that they were going to see the 'T,' " Lindsey said, laughing.

They didn't.

They picked it.

Bryant Hall opened for the 1985 season. It has been first-rate. A university web site explains . . .

"One of the finest facilities of its kind, the two-story Bryant Hall complex houses locker rooms and training rooms for both the home and visiting teams, a team meeting and press conference room, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The second-floor dining area, where Virginia athletes are served their training-table meals, faces the football field, which is visible through large windows running the length of the facility."

Two associate Virginia athletic directors, Mike Thomas for facilities and operations and Gerry Capone for football, said yesterday that they had never noticed the "VT," or ever heard anyone suggest it's there.

"I don't see a 'V' in the stadium there and I don't see a 'T' there," Capone said, laughing. "So my architectural eye is not very good."

But others see it, Lindsey said, especially when it's pointed out. "I've always wanted to fly over there."

If so, he had better do it soon.

As part of a $50 million stadium expansion, the university will replace Bryant Hall by the 1999 season.

"It's been a great little story to tell at parties," Lindsey said. "I just love telling my U.Va. friends this."

Their reaction, he said, "is more a grimace than anything else."

For the time being, anyway, Lindsey got their goat.

1997, Richmond Newspapers Inc.
Readers can write Ray McAllister at the Times-Dispatch, Box 85333, Richmond Va. 23293, or 775-8028 (fax), or rmcallister@timesdispatch.com (e-mail).

The Only Problem With That Story...

...is that it doesn't include a picture.

Mark and I started corresponding around the beginning of December, shortly after that story ran.  Like all good Hokies, Mark is a HokieCentral reader, and he promised to send me an aerial photo of Scott Stadium, showing the VT, as soon as he could get up in his plane, take one, and then "digitally enhance the photo for the Wahoo visually challenged!" (Mark's words exactly).

I told Mark that when he got the photo to me, I would file it with the article and save it for a rainy day.  Well, that rainy day has arrived (boy, has it ever!), so I finally found time to share the picture with you.  Take a look - here's the picture, along with Mark's enhancements:

scotttec.jpg (37917 bytes)

That maroon stuff looks like a VT to me, Marge.  An old-style VT, for sure, but hey, Mark's a 1982 grad and was very familiar with the older VT logo.

Of course, the main determinant of whether you see a VT in the layout of the stadium has to do with your loyalties.  Hokies will nod knowingly, agreeing that it is indeed a VT in the midst of Scott Stadium, whereas Wahoos will no doubt scoff and tell us that we're dreaming.

But that's okay - we Hokies and Hoos disagree about a lot of things, like, say, whether George Welsh is a good coach or just a crotchety old man who underutilizes talent, throws his hat on the ground a lot, and should really learn to keep his finger a little further away from his prodigious nasal protuberance.

I hope you enjoyed this brief Special Feature.  Be sure to bookmark it and show all your Wahoo friends what great fun Hokies, and HokieCentral, can be.

Lastly, for the record, Mark informed me last December that he is now a partner at Baskervill & Son Architects and Engineers in Richmond.  Hmm.  Must be doing something right.


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