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Thomas Jefferson

            Thomas Jefferson was a politician, educator, farmer and a visionary architect ahead of his time. Jefferson studied Palladio and Roman classicism architecture and used these ideal models in his designs while adding his own modifications and technical innovations. Jefferson enjoyed designing private and public buildings and said, "Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements."" Jefferson's drawings symbolized his Republican stance, his respect for agriculture, his role as a politician in society, and his Americanism views. While planning buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing and that perform a definite function, Jefferson's architectural style and political beliefs influenced the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His home, Monticello displays his passion for architecture and his desire to continuously improve and transform his surroundings as he further defined his architectural ideas. (Figure 1) Jefferson's Poplar Forest was his retreat from politics and from the constant visitors at Monticello. It was a place where he relaxed, read, and spent time with his grandchildren. (figure 2) One of his many architectural achievements was the home he designed for friend and fellow politician, James Barbour in 1817. (Figure 3) "James Barbour and Thomas Jefferson were good friends- and held the same political beliefs for the power of the states, the rights of man and the rights of Americans against foreign rule. James Barbour, farmer and politician, was elected and served in the Virginia House of Delegates for twelve years, as governor of Virginia, on the United States Senate for ten years and as the minister to Great Britain under President John Adams. Since both men came from similar backgrounds and possessed like political careers and values, it is fitting that Barboursville was Jeffersonian in design and function. Case in point, "Designed by Jefferson on the model of Monticello, and completed about 1821, Barboursville was one of Jefferson's most successful creations and one of the most beautiful homes in the Virginia Piedmont.

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