Thomas Jefferson is widely known as the author of the Declaration of Independence, but he also was known as an architect, inventor and avid scholar. Jefferson designed the campus for the nearby University of Virginia, and designed his own home at Monticello.

The building is filled with items that are a testament to his creativity. Self-closing doors. A wine dumb waiter (to ensure privacy and an endless supply of wine). A clock with time and day of week. Skylights in the rooms. Interior doors with glass panels to maximize natural light. Water collection along the rooftops of the supporting buildings, to overcome the issues of being on top of a (dry) hill.

This photo was taken from the back garden, which featured a diverse range of flora. Jefferson was fascinated with nature and had examples sent back from the Lewis and Clark expedition. To the right of this scene were the row houses of the slave and indentured servants quarters, and beyond that the gardens where he experimented with new methods of gardening.


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