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Thomas Jefferson Architect: The Built Legacy of Our Third President

October 05, 2012 Posted by: Tom Dewey, Librarian

Thomas Jefferson Architect: The Built Legacy of Our Third President.  Hugh Howard & Roger Straus III. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2003.

Thomas Jefferson Architect: The Built Legacy of Our Third President, is a tribute to Jefferson's architectural legacy and an archive of his building legacy. Thomas Jefferson is considered by many as our first great American architect and the Jeffersonian classical style is one of the most recognized architectural styles in American history.

Although never formally trained as an architect, Jefferson studied the architecture of Paris when he resided there as minister to France and read extensively on classical architecture, gaining a firm footing in the classical tradition.

Monticello, his home in Virginia, was constantly redesigned by Jefferson during his lifetime, and he referred to it as his essay in architecture. The University of Virginia is perhaps the greatest campus of any American university and certainly one of this country's greatest public spaces anywhere. Both of these are represented by beautiful panoramic photographs in the book. Also included in this volume are other notable designs: the Virginia State Capitol and over a dozen private homes which still stand today.  

The book is illustrated with beautiful color photography by Roger Straus III. But this is more than a colorfully illustrated coffee table book. Author Hugh Howard's text is very rich in detail and provides readers with much to contemplate about Jefferson and his immensely complicated creative process.  The combination of insightful essays and stunning photographs makes for a rich and enthralling testament to Jefferson's creative genius.


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