Designed by architects Carl and Carleton Adams, this 33-acre campus was completed in 1932 on a rural tract of land known as Spanish Acres, located approximately five miles northwest of downtown. The city’s third public high school, it quickly garnered national attention for its grand Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and was featured on the cover of Life in 1938. The Monticello Park and Jefferson suburban residential neighborhoods developed over time around the grounds, which are bounded today by Wilson Boulevard, Club Drive, Kampmann Boulevard, and Donaldson Avenue.
Arranged around two courtyards, the interconnected building complex is situated atop a gently sloping hill and aligned 23 degrees off the east-west axis to take advantage of prevailing winds. A curved concrete walkway, divided by a central median planted with native perennials, leads up the hill to the main entrance from Kampmann Boulevard, which is lined with small trees. Just west of the main entrance, a stucco arcade borders the southern edge of a square grass courtyard with concrete pathways shaded by mature canopy trees. To the east, a second, larger grass courtyard contains a hexagonal fountain embellished with red and blue ceramic Talavera tiles. Renovations were completed during the 1960s and 1970s to accommodate more students, including the addition of a three-story east wing designed by architecture firm Phelps & Simmons in 1963. Tennis courts and a football field are located north of the complex, and a baseball field lies to the east. Thomas Jefferson High School was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.