FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—A chair and a tall-case (grandfather) clock, original furnishings in James A. Patterson’s Repose, the house atop Montalto, have returned home, thanks to a generous gift from Martha Jefferson Hospital.
Patterson was a major benefactor of Martha Jefferson Hospital. He purchased Montalto, Thomas Jefferson’s ‘high mountain’ overlooking Monticello, in 1904. Patterson, whose main residence was in Philadelphia, created a working farm at Montalto and subsequently built the large country house there which he named “Repose.” Designs for the house are attributed to Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen (1868-1931).
Four years before his death Patterson deeded his mountain property to Martha Jefferson Hospital. Before selling it, the hospital retained the clock and chair owned by Patterson for display—most recently the clock was on view in the hospital’s Cardwell Lobby.
Rising 410 feet above Monticello, Montalto is historically significant as Thomas Jefferson’s first land purchase. He was 28 in 1771 when he asked Edward Carter to agree to sell “as much of his nearest mountain as can be seen from mine, and 100 yds. beyond the line of sight.” After Jefferson’s death, the property had a series of different owners.
In 2004 the Thomas Jefferson Foundation acquired Montalto and placed the land in view from Monticello under a conservation easement. The protection of Montalto allowed the Foundation to realize a long-held goal, and was the highwater mark of its ongoing efforts to safeguard the historic and scenic nature of the views from Monticello. In 2009 the Foundation began to restore Repose, the large and welcoming American Country House style home built by Patterson.
After learning of the Foundation’s plans to restore Montalto and to use it as an educational retreat, Martha Jefferson Hospital offered to make a gift of the Patterson chair and clock.
“It was our pleasure to be able to return the clock and chair to the Foundation so that the pieces could return to Repose.&nbs We have many fond memories of both the clock and chair at Martha Jefferson, but as we prepare for the move to our new hospital in August, there couldn’t be a better time to return the gift,” said Jim Haden, president of Martha Jefferson Hospital.
The tall-case clock and chair have been returned to their original locations in the entrance hall of Repose and will be displayed during the dedication of the Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto this weekend.
“Martha Jefferson Hospital and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation share a common history in Jefferson’s Montalto,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “The Foundation used its expertise in historic preservation to carefully restore Repose. You can imagine how thrilled we are to welcome the Patterson clock and chair back to Montalto and how grateful we are to Jim Haden and the hospital for this consequential gift.”
The Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto will be dedicated this weekend, with the opening of a scholarly conference on “Jefferson’s Adversaries: British Leadership in the American War of Independence”.
Read the Press Release: “Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto dedicated with Jefferson Conference”
Media Opportunity – Schedule of Events
Friday, May 13
Interview opportunity with Thomas Jefferson Foundation President and CEO Leslie Greene Bowman and Dr. Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies about Montalto and opening conference.
Interview opportunity with Jim Haden, president of Martha Jefferson Hospital about a gift of history to the Foundation related to Montalto.
Please RSVP to Lisa Stites at 434.984.7519 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, May 12.
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit www.monticello.org.