- from Thomas Jefferson
Thomas 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 every word.
Jefferson spent 50 years building and rebuilding his home. He named it Monticello (mon-ti-CHEL-oh), which in Italian means “little mountain,” and it was built on the top of a small mountain near Jefferson’s birthplace.
Jefferson began work on Monticello in 1769, and 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 was an innovator who took objects that already existed—such as a chair, a clock, and a ladder—and then made them even better.