In 1941 and 1942, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation) authorized funds for archaeological excavations at Shadwell to determine the exact location of Thomas Jefferson's birthplace. The work was directed by Fiske Kimball with the assistance of Milton L. Grigg, Floyd Johnson, William Hale, and others. The work was incomplete, but it did determine the site of original buildings and uncovered the foundations of certain outbuildings.
In 1945, the Jefferson Birthplace Memorial Park Commission was founded by William S. Hildreth to purchase the land and restore the buildings. In that same year, the land was bought from the Smith family. In 1954, the Commission undertook additional archaeological work. The work was conducted by Roland Wells Robbins, who determined the site of the principal residence. Based on his findings as well as comparative evidence from other period houses, the Shadwell house was reconstructed in 1959-1960 by architect Floyd Johnson and the Charlottesville construction firm of R. E. Lee & Sons, Inc. At that time, the Commission determined that their objective to develop the site as a national shrine to the memory of Jefferson could best be accomplished if the property was conveyed to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation and was operated in conjunction with Monticello. Plans to transfer the property were put on hold, however, until after the house was opened to the public in the summer of 1961. Following several discussions by both the Commission and Foundation Boards, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation assumed the title and mortgage on the property in 1963.
In 1964, the Foundation determined not to re-open the house to the public and authorized the return or sale of the house's furnishings. In 1967 the reconstructed house was sold to the Ednam Forest Corporation. It was dismantled and rebuilt at the location of what is today the Boar's Head Complex.