CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The architecture at the University of Virginia has been revered since the school's founding, especially the iconic Rotunda.

But something people may not know is that the dome ceiling is supposed to display the night sky over Charlottesville. 

When Thomas Jefferson designed the building, he wanted to see Charlottesville’s night sky mimicked on the ceiling.

If his vision had been constructed at the time, it would have been the first large-scale planetarium in the world, according to the planetarium curators at the Rotunda.

Two hundred years later, three UVA graduates have brought Jefferson’s vision to life using projectors. The Rotunda dome room will be open for planetarium public nights on Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.