Monticello

1807_signature_Monticello.jpg
Charlottesville, VA
United States
Monticello

Monticello, the mountaintop home of the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, was the central property of his 5,000 acre system of plantations in Albemarle County, Virginia. Jefferson redesigned and rebuilt the house and grounds of his residence over more than 40 years, refining and extending the landscape to create an ornamental farm, combining function and beauty. Monticello, the “home farm”, included acres of woodland and gardens, with Mulberry Row as the center of light industry, agriculture, and housing at its productive core. Within the working landscape is a 1,000 foot long vegetable garden near the summit with over 330 varieties of vegetables. Two hillside orchards contained over 170 varietals of fruit.  The cultivated landscape around the house is a showplace both for plant collections and the exploration of botanical possibilities and landscape design ideas.  The large West Lawn extends from the house, enclosed by flower borders of ornamental and useful plants from around the world. Monticello is ringed by four largely level “Roundabout” roadways that completely encircle the mountain at different elevations; these are connected by sloping diagonal roads, providing gentle routes up the hill and through the Monticello Grove, a designed open woodland of Jefferson’s favorite trees, both native and imported, and past the family cemetery where he is buried. Along with Poplar Forest and the Academical Village at the University of Virginia, Monticello exemplifies Jefferson’s design capacities. Owned by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation since 1923, the property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.