Inspired by the classics, Thomas Jefferson’s iconic home in Charlottesville, Virginia–whose name Monticello means “little mount” in Italian–has become an American icon.
In 1987, 200 years after it was built, Jefferson’s Monticello was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the University of Virginia’s Academical Village that he also designed). This beautifully maintained example of Neoclassical architecture was designed by Jefferson. Discovered during his travels in Europe, he used design elements also made popular during the founding of the United States.
The design principles of liberty and order used by Andrea Palladio in the Villa Capra “La Rotunda,” or Villa Rotunda, influenced the construction style of this home. Jefferson was inspired by these same Palladian principles while he drafted the Declaration of Independence. He utilized logic and organization through geometry, balance and symmetry, which are evident in the floor plan of the home.