New York Times


Comings and Goings

New Visitor Center at Mr. Jefferson’s Monticello


Published: March 1, 2009

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, a National Historic Landmark and the only house in the United States that has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site, has a new visitor center. The 42,000-square-foot Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center consists of five pavilions around a central courtyard and has amenities like a cafe, a gift shop and a ticket and information counter.

But more important, after April 15 (the center’s official opening), the property will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about Thomas Jefferson and Monticello with four new exhibitions, including “Thomas Jefferson and the Boisterous Sea of Liberty,” which illustrates Jefferson’s core ideas on liberty via 21 flat-panel screens, and “Making Monticello: Jefferson’s Essay in Architecture,” which explores the four-decade creation of the house, designed by Jefferson himself. There will also be an introductory film, “Thomas Jefferson’s World,” and a hands-on educational center for children 6 to 11.

The Monticello admission ticket, which includes complete use of the visitor center and a house tour, costs $20 (