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Monticello

Designed by Thomas Jefferson

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American statesman Thomas Jefferson modeled his Neoclassical home after the work of a famous Renaissance architect.
Monticello, the Virginia Home of Thomas Jefferson

Monticello, the Virginia Home of Thomas Jefferson

Gabriele Rausse Monticello Wine Trail, Charlottesville, VA. Photo: Amy C Evans, SFA oral historian
Monticello
1769-1784 and 1796-1809
Thomas Jefferson, architect
Near Charlottesville, Virginia

When the American statesman Thomas Jefferson designed his Virginia home, he combined the great European traditions of Andrea Palladio with American domesticity. The plan for Monticello echoes that of Palladio's Villa Rotunda. Unlike Palladio's villa, however, Monticello has long horizontal wings, underground service rooms, and all sorts of "modern" gadgets. Thomas Jefferson added the dome in 1800, creating a space he called the sky-room.

The sky-room is just one example of the many changes Thomas Jefferson made as he worked on his Virginia home. Jefferson called Monticello an "essay in architecture" because he used the house to experiment with European ideas and to explore new approaches to building.

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