Jeffersonian; common, 1772 – 1840 in the mid-Atlantic states; revived occasionally, nation-wide. (For more of the style, please see The Beautiful Home Treatise, #17C, The Rivanna.)
The Jeffersonian style is the creation of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, statesman, political philosopher, author, historian, scientist, planter, an architect who composed verse, an American genius. The Jeffersonian encompasses elements gathered from all of history, selected with taste, composed in reason.
You will find in the Jeffersonian, Roman precedent, Palladian organization, French Bourbon elegance, American eloquence. In precedent:
of the Roman, the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian; Temple of Gaius and Lucius Caesar (the Maison Carrée);
of Palladio, Villa Almerico Capra (La Rotonda), Villa Badoer (La Badoera), Villa Cornaro;
of French Bourbon, Hôtel de Salm;
of pattern-books, Palladio’s The Four Books of Architecture, Gibb’s Book of Architecture;
the Virginia State Capitol Building, ascended from the Maison Carrée;
Monticello, ascended from the Hôtel de Salm.
A central pediment over a Doric portico, with fanlight.
Low pitched, gabled and hipped roofs.
Three-part temple – central pediment and wings – on a raised foundation.
An entablature of broad white bands.
The tall windows are shuttered.
The skin is red brick, the columns are limestone or treated to resemble limestone.
A distinguishing Jefferson dome, octagon.
This grand Jeffersonian home features space sufficient for generous collections of books, curiosities, pictures, et cetera. There is an entrance hall, a foyer which is, alike Monticello, sufficient for a first gallery, or for frescoed, pictured walls. Beyond, a proper gallery, with niches (a mosaic floor is recommended). To the right: a working kitchen; beyond, a private, library office. To the left, a large bed suite, similar to Thos. Jefferson’s bed chamber, yet, with indoor plumbing, fixtures, convenience. Ahead, a great room, designed to enlarge life. The home is created as a retreat for a single or a couple. Dependencies of guest and domestic buildings are imagined, and that, along a colonnade or arcade. Should mention: The Great Room is also the Dining Room, the Music Room, the Ball Room, and is, as Halls of the 17th and 18th Centuries, intended to adapt to each purpose, by the arrangement or by the addition of appropriate furnishings. Windows of the wings could be doubled, tripled in number; here, reduced to effect privacy. And then, should mention: this building is easily adaptable to commercial, educational use … lecture hall, classrooms, offices, et cetera.
Other house-plans of this series include:
#17A, 3,400 gsf
#17B, 4,629 gsf
#17C, 5,495 gsf
Other Jeffersonian style house-plans include:
#60, The Jefferson, 2,856 gsf
#67, The Charlottesville, 2,676 gsf
A portfolio of images, “Material, Texture, Color” for all #17 Jeffersonian Homes, can be found at the bottom of the #17C, Rivanna page.
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A sculptor, painter, historian, architectural designer, and poet, Michael Curtis has taught and lectured at universities, colleges, and museums, including The Institute of Classical Architecture, The Center for Creative Studies, and The National Gallery of Art;
his pictures and statues are housed in over 400 private and public collections, including The Library of Congress, The National Portrait Gallery, and The Supreme Court;
he has made statues of presidents, generals, Supreme Court Justices, captains of industry and national heroes, including Davey Crockett, General Eisenhower, and Justice Thurgood Marshall;
his relief and medals are especially fine, they include, among others, presidents Truman and Reagan, Justice John Marshall, George Washington, and, his History of Texas, containing over one-hundred figures, is the largest American relief sculpture of the 20th Century;
his monuments and memorials, buildings and houses, including The New American Home, 2011, are found coast-to-coast;
his plays, essays, verse and translations have been published in over 30 journals (Trinacria, Society of Classical Poets, Expansive Poetry, et cetera), and his most recent nonfiction books are, Occasional Poetry: How to Write Poems for Any Occasion (available through The Studio Press), and The Classical Architecture and Monuments of Washington, D.C. (available through The History Press); his most recent book of verse is, Modern Art: An Exhibition of Criticism (available through Amazon);
Mr. Curtis is the National Civic Art Society’s 2021-2022 Research Scholar.