Architecture is my delight...(Quotation)

"...architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favourite amusements."

This quotation has not been found in any of Thomas Jefferson's letters or other writings, but is attributed by Margaret Bayard Smith to him in her novel, A Winter in Washington:

The house was in an unfinished state, and when Mr. Seymour observed it, Mr. Jefferson replied, " and I hope it will remain so during my life, as architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favourite amusements."[1]

The statement is repeated by B. L. Rayner in his 1832 biography of Jefferson:

Indeed, the whole building had been almost in a constant state of re-edification, from its ante-revolutionary form, which was highly finished, to the present time: "and so I hope it will remain during my life,'' said he to a visitor, "as architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down one of my favorite amusements."[2]

 

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