The West Front of Monticello is one of the most widely recognized views of Thomas Jefferson's home. New U.S. citizens are sworn in on the West Portico steps every July 4, and thousands upon thousands of visitors have posed on the same masonry steps to have their images recorded in front of the facade that has graced coins, postage stamps, and countless other objects over the years. But were there finished steps in front of the West Portico in Jefferson's day?
Sir Benjamin Thompson, Graf (Count) von Rumford (March 26, 1753 – August 21, 1814) was an American-born scientist and inventor. Thomas Jefferson was familiar with Rumford and his work, and some of his innovations were incorporated into the remodeling of Monticello.