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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Original Architect: Thomas Jefferson

Period: 1769 - 1826

National Historic Landmark

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson began building his beloved Monticello in 1769;  a project that spanned for more than forty years. The first Monticello, a Palladian cruciform-shaped building, was left incomplete at Jefferson’s departure to Paris in 1784. On his return in 1789, he rebuilt Monticello to conform with ideas derived from the avant-garde buildings he was exposed to in France. Parisian features such as skylights, bed alcoves, triple-sash windows, and the first dome ever constructed over a private residence in America graced the newly expanded structure.  Jefferson continued to modify his “architectural laboratory” until his death in 1826. 


Initially, an historic structure report was prepared by the firm that focused on various historical assemblies used on the roof and its chronological development. This information was used to prepare contract documents for the subsequent restoration of the roof which included reconstruction of the entire balustrade, installation of Jefferson designed tin-coated metal roof shingles, application of lead roofing on the dome and roof perimeter, rebuilding of chimneys, and reconstruction of thirteen skylights to conform with Jefferson’s designs.  Subsequent HSR work was undertaken for the interior and outbuildings which has led to other restoration work including the reconstruction of the porticles, and most recently the slave quarters.  MCWB involvement at Monticello has spanned over the course of 20 years.

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