There are over 400 architectural drawings in the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Approximately 245 of these drawings (including notebook pages) are plans for Jefferson's home, Monticello.
Monticello today is an American icon. It's Jefferson's architectural masterpiece and a symbol of the American story. It's on the back of the U.S. Nickel. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Replicas of it dot the American landscape, both real and imaginary. But it wasn't always so. At the end of the 19th century, many doubted Jefferson had even designed it. That changed with the rediscovery of Jefferson's architectural drawings in the early 20th century. What followed is a story of remarkable careers, passionate dedication, economic challenges, and innovative approaches that have made Monticello one of the most enduring places in the American imagination.
Hosted by Gardiner Hallock, Senior Vice President for Preservation and Operations; Lucy Midelfort, Conservator and Curator of Historic Architecture; and Ann Lucas, Senior Historian Emerita.