Jefferson designed one of the most architecturally significant residences in America. The first Monticello was a two-story, eight-room house that revealed his knowledge of classical architecture. In 1796, inspired by neoclassical buildings he had seen while serving as American minister to France, Jefferson began transforming Monticello into a three-story, 21-room brick structure. Inside and out, Jefferson’s free and enslaved workmen made his design a reality. Jefferson filled his house with furnishings and collections reflecting his education, broad interests, and status. He employed labor-saving technology for efficiency and maximized light and heat for optimal comfort.