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Tea Room at Monticello
Tea Room

Dimensions: 15' 1" × 11' 2"; ceiling 17' 11"

Order: Doric

Source: A building in Albano, Italy, depicted in Fréart, Parallèle de l'Architecture Antique avec la Moderne[1]

Color: Unpainted plaster; today the room is painted to replicate a plaster finish

Purpose of Room: Dining area; reading and writing area for Jefferson

Architectural features: Double pocket doors on rollers separate the Tea Room – the western-most, and coldest, room in the house – from the Dining Room; based on one of Jefferson's favorite architectural shapes, the octagon

Furnishings of Note: In this room, Jefferson displayed his "most honorable suite":[2] likenesses of his friends and American heroes, including busts of Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, Marquis de Lafayette, and George Washington; the room had a reading and writing arrangement perhaps similar to the one Jefferson kept in his Cabinet; at one time the room had a stove in a semi-circular niche in the wall.


Objects on Display in this Room


  1. ^ Roland Fréart de Chambray, Parallèle de l'Architecture Antique avec la Moderne... (Paris: Chez l'auteur, libraire du roi pour l'artillerie et le génie, à l'image Notre-Dame, 1766).
  2. ^ Jefferson to James Ronaldson, February 7, 1820, in PTJ:RS, 15:383. Transcription available in Founders Online.