Thomas Jefferson was one of history’s great minds. He was a lawyer, a diplomat, an inventor, a philospher and yes, an architect. His drafts were heavily influenced by the neo-classical, neo-palladianism styles that were swepting the western world at the time, but Jerrerson added his own unique touches.
Included in Jefferson’s works are his home, Monticello (Italian for “Little Mountain), his Poplar Forest house, the Academic Village and Rotunda at University of Virginia (which he founded), and the Botetourt County Courthouse.
Jefferson employed red bricks, grand white columns, Chinese Railings and “suppressed” stairs. The layouts were Palladian, with a central main structure and symmetrical wings, and main floors located above ground level, accessed by a brick staircase. Unlike other Palladian designs, however, Jefferson used octagonal forms to great effect.