- from Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson once said, “Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements.” He really meant it.
Jefferson spent 50 years building his home. He named it Monticello (mon-ti-CHEL-oh). In Italian that means “little mountain.” Monticello stood atop 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. Jefferson never had any formal training in architecture. But he taught himself how to design a house and how to draw plans for one. Then he hired skilled craftsmen to build his house, while he oversaw their work.
Jefferson also used his creative talents inside the house. He designed furniture, clocks, and curtains. He took objects that already existed—such as a chair, a clock, and a ladder—and made them better.