Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s plantation near Charlottesville, Va.,
was the center of his world. To understand Jefferson, one must
understand Monticello; it can be seen as his autobiographical statement.
Monticello encompassed a house, an ornamental landscape, a farm, a
plantation, a small mountain, and a large and diverse community. It
encapsulated the interests, talents, ideals, ambitions, and realities of
its creative and complex owner.
In 1923, Monticello was purchased by the Thomas Jefferson
Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation and was opened as a public
attraction in 1924. Since then, the Foundation has instituted numerous
research and educational programs and major restoration and renovation
projects, and Monticello has attracted more than 27 million people.
Today, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation remains committed to a twofold mission:
- preservation -- to conserve, protect, and maintain Monticello in a
manner which leaves it enhanced and unimpaired for future generations --
- education -- to interpret and present Thomas Jefferson to the widest
possible audiences, including scholars and the general public.
Monticello is a National Historic Landmark and the only house in the United States designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.