The house of an influential president.


The Thanksgiving holiday presented the opportunity to finally take some time off from work for a long 4 day weekend. Claudia and I decided to take a road trip to the house of one of the most influential figures in US history.


Construction on Monticello begun on 1769, Thomas Jefferson would work on / remodel / enlarge his house until 1809. Minutes from Charlottesville Virginia, Monticello seats atop a hill overseeing the very university Jefferson designed (UVA).

Starting with the large clock / calendar, to Jefferson’s book collection, to his drafting tools, and even the three sash window/door (which I will now one day have to design for Claudia in our house), the roman neoclassical style house proved to be as interesting inside as outside. The tour felt a bit rushed and in my opinion the tour guide was not the best, but it didn’t detract from the experience. The rest of the property unfortunately has not survived the passage of time as well as the house. Most of the surrounding buildings are only ruins, or merely a footprint marking the former location. Jefferson’s burial site is marked by a large obelisk down the hill from the house on a small family cemetery.


After the tour we hurried down the hill towards Charlottesville to check out UVA. The rotunda, quad and surrounding class/residence buildings, which were also designed by Thomas Jefferson, clearly influenced the style of the now very large campus. We ended the night by making our way towards the School of Architecture building, the one contemporary building on the campus.


The usually 2 hour drive from DC, which would of taken days in Jefferson’s time, took an unfortunate 4 hours due to traffic the big rivalry game between Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. Luckally we were able to head out before the game was over (after grabbing some very inexpensive bagel sandwiches) and made it back to DC in much better time.


One Response to “The house of an influential president.”

  1. claudiab says:

    We recommend this tour to all designers. TJ was way ahead of his time…. unfortunately you can’t take pictures of the inside, and make sure you take minimal bags, the house is well preserved and very protected by the guides. The visitors center is also very well designed. I want the bed in the middle of the room incased in a dividing wall. Perfect for a married couple… I also like the light-wells and the window… boy did I like the window!

Leave a Reply

8 − five =