Thomas Jefferson establishes himself as the premier Renaissance man of his time with his arciolgical masterpiece, Monticello. It is not enough that he had to be an expert at politics, philosophy, linguistics, botany, cooking and dozens of other crafts, but Jefferson became a skilled architect. He used this skill to oversee the building of his dream home. Instead of hiring an experienced architect, Jefferson drafted the blueprints on Monticello using neoclassical ideas which drew influence from ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance. Instead of importing supplies to build his house, Jefferson had the bricks and nails manufactured on the property with locally available materials. Monticello was the man's sanctuary as Jefferson once said that he was " happy no where else and in no other society". The building allowed him to house his other pursuits which included European art, natural specimens, Native American artifacts and keepsakes from his vast travels. The complex is also well-known for the massive gardens that surrounded it. Jefferson grew hundreds of varieties of different fruits and vegetables there. This is only the second incarceration of the historical landmark. Additionally Jefferson channeled Leonardo da Vinci by creating quite a few inventions to make life on the plantation easier. In 1770 the original burned down. Construction on the new building lasted for about two years. The building also has a dark history. Some would say that it is ironic that a man who wrote that all men were created equal had roughly 130 slaves on his plantation. Despite this fact, Monticello remains today to be a national landmark thanks to its great beauty and the remembrance of the man that helped shape the United States.
The official website for Monticello
Biography of Thomas Jefferson
A gallery of inventions discovered at Monticello
Monticello in later years and sell to Thomas Jefferson Society