- from Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson once said, “Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements.” As we shall see, he really meant it.
Jefferson spent 50 years building and rebuilding his home. He named it Monticello (mon-ti-CHEL-oh), which in Italian means “little mountain.” Monticello was built on the top of a small mountain near Jefferson’s birthplace.
Jefferson began work on Monticello in 1769. He didn’t stop until a few years before his death. He was always thinking of new ways to improve his home. Although he never had any formal training in architecture, he taught himself how to design a house and how to draw up plans for one. Then he hired expert craftsmen to build his house, while he supervised their work.
Jefferson used his creative talents on the inside of the house as well. He designed furniture, clocks, and curtains. Jefferson also took objects that already existed—such as a chair, a clock, and a ladder—and made them better.