FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 30, 2015
Media Contact: Mia Magruder, 434-984-7596
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—On May 2, Monticello will commemorate progress on the Mountaintop Project—a multi-year effort to restore Monticello as Jefferson knew it and to tell the stories of people, enslaved and free, who lived and worked at Monticello—with special preview tours, a panel discussion and interpretive programming.
Visitors can enjoy a free grounds pass from 9am to 2pm and explore newly re-created buildings, including a log cabin interpreted as the home of John and Priscilla Hemmings. Featured events include:
- Panel discussion on Monticello’s significance with Tom Brokaw, Rex Ellis and Jon Meacham—moderated by David M. Rubenstein, patriotic philanthropist
- Commemorative tree planting: Join speakers and descendants to honor the enslaved families of Monticello with a tree planting on Mulberry Row
- Mulberry Row exhibition featuring costumed interpreters, music, historic trade demonstrations and a new digital learning tool
- Free preview tours of the upstairs, reservations required
The Mountaintop Project has reached a critical milestone in efforts to fully restore Jefferson’s world. In the House, nine rooms have been restored and furnished upstairs. Occupied primarily by Jefferson’s daughter, sister and grandchildren, these private quarters illustrate the dynamics of family life in the early 1800s, including how their lives were interwoven with those of enslaved people.
Now visitors can more fully experience Mulberry Row—what was once the industrial hub and dynamic ‘Main Street’ of the plantation—through two re-constructed buildings and an innovative app.
As a result of Jefferson’s assiduous record-keeping, and more than fifty years of scholarly research by curators, historians and archaeologists, Monticello is considered the best documented, best preserved and best studied plantation in North America.
About the Mountaintop Project
The Mountaintop Project is made possible by a transformational contribution from David M. Rubenstein. Leading support was provided by Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, along with generous gifts and grants from the Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation, the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Birdsall, Mr. and Mrs. B. Grady Durham, Ms. Jacqueline B. Mars, Mr. and Mrs. Forrest E. Mars, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. John F. Mars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Charlotte Moss and Barry Friedberg, the Cabell Foundation, the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, the Garden Club of Virginia, and additional individuals, organizations, and foundations.
The Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, the foundation seeks to engage a global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. Monticello is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the foundation’s regular operating budget does not receive ongoing government support to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 440,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit www.monticello.org.