Thursday Thomas Jefferson Doors

Although a cold, blustery day my daughter and I spent time at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello two weeks ago.  Perched high atop the city of Charlottesville, our views from the mountain were breathtaking and those within the home were just as special. Unfortunately, no photography is ever allowed once you cross the threshold so only outside door photos I have for today’s post.

This is the east entrance to Monticello and the double doors through which you enter.

Above the tall glass double doors are two embellishments worth noting:

The west-facing side of Monticello is the side you might be most familiar with as it is the image on the back of our U.S. nickles. Go ahead, look and compare!


This closeup of the same door shows how similar and balanced Jefferson was with his design.


Other doors on the property include this door belonging to (a dwelling reproduction on the site of) “servant’s house t”, an enslaved family, and the very small one higher up with some purpose unknown to me.

And one of my favorite ideas of a door is found here in a pavillion-type structure found in Jefferson’s vegetable gardens. There are three glass panes and the bottom two are raised allowing entrance to the space to sit, enjoy the view, or contemplate the crop he is about to sew. Jefferson also included these triple paned windows in Monticello allowing for passage onto the surrounding patio should he so desire. These windows also allowed for cross ventilation throughout his home.


Each time I visit this historical home I learn a new fact or two from the docent making these tours worth a return trip every few years. For instance, the reason for no indoor photography is because not all the artwork or furnishings are owned by the Monticello Foundation. Some items are graciously on loan, therefore no photography of any items is allowed. During our visit and probably throughout the year, there is renovation taking place within the home that will bring these spaces back to or close to their historical accuracy based on research done by the scholars who work to preserve Jefferson’s home. If you’d like to learn more about Monticello, Thomas Jefferson, and Plantation Life during the 1700’s, read here.

And to explore other doors from around the world, visit Norm’s Thursday Doors. It feels like a little vacation every time I tour these posts! Enjoy ♥


    • The gardens are spectacular too. A local Charlottesvillian and once long time director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, Peter Hatch, wrote a book about TJ’s gardens and how they came to be. A RICH SPOT OF EARTH is a fascinating reference if you want to learn about Jefferson’s keen interest in gardening, french cooking that occured in his home and what the gardens are like today. Peter still gives lectures today and they are very interesting! Thanks for stopping by and reading…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. A fascinating place; I do hope to see it in person one day.
    It’s too bad you weren’t able to get any indoor shots but I guess the no indoor photography rule makes more sense to me now.
    Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been in many places where you cannot photograph due to protecting the integrity of the artwork but never have I heard about this situation where some of the items were on loan and thus couldn’t be photographed due to ownership rights. Completely makes sense but in all the years I’ve been visiting Monticello this is the first time it has been explained to me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a tour with all of the docents together to hear their combined knowledge?!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You picked one of my very favorite places in the US. We stopped there on our way back from SC. If I lived there, I’d for sure be volunteering in their gardens. The pavillion-type structure just gives you a visual of Thomas Jefferson pondering the events of his life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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