A Place for Jeffersonian Dialogue
With its panoramic views Monticello and vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montalto presents a spectacular location for a world-class education center. The "high mountain" rises 410 feet above Monticello, and is historically important as Jefferson's first land acquisition. He was 28 in 1771 when he asked Edward Carter to agree "to give me as much of his nearest mountain as can be seen from mine, and 100 yds. beyond the line of sight."
The focus of the current restoration efforts is Repose, the historic J.A. Patterson residence constructed of native stone. Large and welcoming, it was built soon after the purchase of the property in 1904 in the American Country House style. A significant secondary feature is its historic farm complex.
The Foundation will use Montalto to carry out its mission, while preserving the historic and scenic qualities of the property in a way that exemplifies the Foundation's long history of careful stewardship of Jefferson's land. We envision holding "Jeffersonian Summits" at Montalto&—educational retreats held in collaboration with a diverse and important group of partners ranging from the University of Virginia (alumni, academic, research centers, and executive programs), and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute to the Pew Center for Research, and the U.S. Department of State.
The Foundation's Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies will play a central role in the development of educational programs at Montalto. Possibilities include programs that illuminate Jefferson's relevance in the modern age with content such as "Jefferson and Leadership." Program topics ranging from the founding of our nation to public service, preservation, viticulture, environmental conservation, and the enduring principles of liberty will be possible.
The construction program to restore Repose and its environs commenced in November 2009. Beautifully furnished facilities will include the latest teleconferencing technology. Once renovated, Repose can provide a warm and gracious venue for a small seminar, a beautiful lecture hall in the conservatory for 100, a seated dinner on the first floor for 150, and a mountain top reception spilling onto the patios for more than 250 people. The vision for Montalto can be compared to a smaller version of Bellagio, the international retreat of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy.