2012 Grant of $20,000

Situated on a mountaintop outside Charlottesville, Virginia, Monticello, a 5,000-acre plantation, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson’s thoughts about domestic architecture were transformed by the five years he spent in Paris from 1784 until 1789. Upon his return to America, he planned to radically remodel his Palladian-inspired house into one that reflected French neoclassical ideals.

Among the features that he adopted were French sash doors. But he also admired their long casement windows that extended to the floor. At Monticello, he introduced his version in the form of a triple-sash window. Monticello’s current window blinds, which date from the late 19th or early 20th century, have been repaired numerous times and have reached the point now where many are no longer serviceable.

The plan for a general substitution of new and more accurate exterior blinds is to begin with the Dining Room and Chamber windows on Monticello’s iconic West (Garden) Front. These are the most prominent of all the triple-sash windows used at Monticello and will be restored with the help of this grant.

Restoration: The French inspired blinds for the windows.