Visit Website Did you know? But this particular landowner was Thomas Jefferson, the quintessential polymath, whose passions ranged from political philosophy, archaeology and linguistics to music, botany, bird watching and pasta making. Though he had no formal training, he had read extensively about architecture, particularly that of ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance. Years later, he would become an accomplished architect whose designs included the Virginia state capitol and the main buildings at the University of Virginia.
It was a retreat and the purest of his Neoclassical architectural masterpieces. He visited the house in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains as often as four times a year, frequently staying as long as a month. Its elegant geometrical design and unusual, somewhat impractical plan embodied the abstract forms that architects of the Neoclassical loved.
Poplar Forest, set in its carefully planned landscape, was a personal architectural creation and the place where Jefferson found rest and leisure and enjoyed private time with his family.
Thomas Jefferson long dreamed of a quiet retreat where he could get away from the pressures of public life. His long and distinguished political career kept him from realizing his dream until late in his presidency.
Jefferson acquired the 4,acre plantation at Poplar Forest through his marriage to Martha Wayles Skelton in Jefferson spent his time— in what was undoubtedly a cramped and noisy setting —computing how long it would take to pay the national debt.
According to tradition, it was then that he began to realize the advantages of building a more tranquil place for himself. Poplar Forest was one of his many octagonal designs and the only octagonal house actually built.
The one-story brick residence is set on a high basement. The front and rear elevations are strictly symmetrical and feature Classical porticoes with pediments and four Tuscan columns.
On the interior, four elongated octagonal rooms surround a central chamber illuminated by a large skylight. This central space is a perfect cube, measuring 20 feet in all directions.
Jefferson liked octagonal rooms in part because they allowed for more light, especially important in a time prior to electricity. The abstract symmetry of the house extended to the landscape as well.
Two artificial mounds on either side of the sunken lawn behind the house served as ornamental elements and screened identical octagonal privies.
The villas of Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, influenced the design, with the mounds replacing pavilions. Approximately 94 slaves worked on the plantation.
Letters and documents, as well as excavations of the slave quarters scattered about the property, provide glimpses into their lives. Slaves at Poplar Forest performed a variety of jobs, including fieldwork, road building, livestock tending, brick-making, blacksmithing, woodworking, carpentry, masonry construction, weaving, and spinning, as well as service in the house.
A replica campeachy or "siesta" chair, favored by Jefferson. An early riser, he spent the mornings riding, reading, or writing. He maintained a library of more than 1, books in many languages. When his family accompanied him to Poplar Forest, they dined early and read or strolled about the gardens in the evenings.
Jefferson loved spending time with his grandchildren. Ina fire destroyed the roof and interior, leaving only the basic shapes of the rooms, four chimneys, and the portico columns.
The restoration work on this National Historic Landmark is extraordinary. Jefferson designed and built his retreat solely to suit his "fancy," and ongoing restoration and archeology efforts give unique insight into his life and creativity. Plan your visit Poplar Forest is located on Rte. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Click here for the National Historic Landmark registration file: An admission fee is charged. Poplar Forest is open for tours and special events, seven days a week March 15 through December Tours of the house are offered from Poplar Forest is closed on Thanksgiving Day.
For more information visit the Poplar Forest website or call Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father and third president of the United States, began construction of Poplar Forest in It was a retreat and the purest of his Neoclassical architectural masterpieces.
One orderly transition deserves another, and another, and another. March 4 is the th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's inauguration in as the third President of the United States. The Jefferson–Hemings controversy is a historical debate over whether a sexual relationship between U.S.
President Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings resulted in his fathering some or all of her six recorded children. For more than years, most historians denied rumors from Jefferson's presidency that he had a slave concubine.
Based on his grandson's report, they said that one. Thomas Jefferson Buildings. Thomas Jefferson Buildings is part of the Tentative list of USA in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List..
Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the state party. To further the honor and integrity of Thomas Jefferson, and to promote his vision and ideas and their application in our times and in the future.
To further the honor and integrity of Thomas Jefferson, and to promote his vision and ideas and their application in our times and in the future.
Heritage Blog. Brief Overview. Thomas Jefferson was born April 13, in the rural Piedmont region of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He had a succession of tutors throughout his childhood, which he divided between the family estates of Shadwell and Tuckahoe.