Note: p84m2 On individual architects and builders, as we have already seen, his influence was not less noteworthy. Samuel Dobie evidently learned much from the drawings of the Virginia Capitol. L'Enfant consulted them, even Clérisseau may well have been reacted on, in working over them. Hallet followed in several studies, the classical ideas which Jefferson imparted to him. Bulfinch he assisted, and, we can scarcely doubt, stimulated to classical imitation. Mills was a confessed disciple, who drew from Jefferson quite as much of the spirit of his work as he did from Hoban and Latrobe. Even an engineering construction of Mills's, the single arch bridge over the Schuylkill at Philadelphia, would seem to have been the outgrowth of a suggestion of Jefferson. Note: p84f1 Latrobe himself did not escape. It might well be thought that the use of the temple type by him and his pupils was independent of Jefferson's example. An examination of the revivalist architecture of England, in spite of its pioneer adoption of Greek forms of detail, gives no foundation for such a view. Note: p84m3 It would seem that he got his encouragement to literal imitation elsewhere, nowhere else than from Jefferson, who had practiced and advocated it years before him.
Note: p84m4 Scarcely less important was Jefferson's personal influence on patrons and builders, who had come in contact with him and had caught his ideas. Madison, Monroe, Cocke, and the Barbours evidenced this in other enterprises beside those in which Jefferson was immediately associated. Among builders he created a definite school where none had before existed. In Virginia the experienced artisans of New England and Pennsylvania had been wanting. La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt observed in 1796 that there were not four stone masons in the county of Albemarle. Jefferson was forced at Monticello to train his own slaves to do the work he required; he wrote that they could not proceed an hour without him. Again and again he tried to import workmen from abroad, and in several cases succeeded. His materials, too, he gathered from a wider circle than his predecessors -- sending to France and Italy as well as to England -- bringing in examples of the finest workmanship. The builders Voss, Minor, and others, who worked on the Virginia Capitol, gained new insight into architectural forms. James Oldham, another workman, wrote in 1804 to Jefferson, then President, asking if he could secure him a copy of Palladio, and Jefferson responded by loaning him one of his own. Note: p85f1. For the completion of Monticello Note: p85f2 and for the University Note: p85f3 he brought men from Philadelphia, who raised the local standards, and made themselves felt long afterwards in the construction of other buildings in the region, Note: p85f4 and elsewhere. Note: p85f5
Note: p85m1 These influences on specific buildings and individuals also often embodied an attempt on Jefferson's part to improve the general status of the architectural profession in America and the conditions under which it was practiced. The conceptions of architect and builder were confused in the public mind, as they had been in Jefferson's own mind in his youth. In his later official positions he steadily encouraged the employment of men who were architects in the professional sense, and of the best trained men available. The competition for designs of the buildings in Washington, with its large prizes, and its admirable programs draughted by him, did much to encourage architects, and stimulated amateurs to interest themselves seriously in the profession. To Hallet, then by long odds the best trained man in the country, he gave special assistance, and the same was true of Latrobe, who succeeded to this distinction. Native Americans, like Mills, he was at great pains to help.
Note: p85m2 At every opportunity he sought to establish in the United States some formal instruction in architecture. While a visitor of William and Mary College, as Governor, 1779-81, he succeeded in having the fine arts added to the subjects to be taught by the moral professor, though it is doubtful if this reform ever went into effect. Quesnay's scheme for an Academy at Richmond, 1785-89, in which the fine arts, and especially architecture, were to have a prominent place, Note: p86f1. he did not encourage, to be sure, but that was because he thought it visionary and beyond the possibility of support. Note: p86f2 In the scheme of education outlined in his letter to Peter Carr, president of the trustees of Albemarle Academy, in 1814, the department of fine arts including civil architecture, gardening, painting, sculpture and the theory of music, appears first among the professional schools. Note: p86m1 In the report of the educational commission of 1818, written by Jefferson, the fine arts appear among the subjects taught by the professor of ideology. Although provision for them was omitted from the legislative act, the visitors in arranging in detail the work of the schools, just before their opening, included in the School of Mathematics instruction in Architecture, Civil and Military. Nothing came of these efforts These efforts, though they did not lead to a distinct professional school, certainly resulted in cultivation of the taste of many students, and perhaps account in part for the high level of architecture long maintained throughout the South.
Note: p86m3 The attempts to encourage architects and to promote architectural education were but part of a larger effort to establish the fine arts in this country which tended to create a more favorable milieu. Early instances of this were his securing Houdon to make the statue of Washington and the bust of Lafayette and his patronage of the sculptor Ceracchi. Later he imported Andrei and Frazoni for the sculpture on the buildings in Washington, and Raggi for the capitals at the University. Note: p86m4 His own collection of paintings and statuary, many of them portraits made especially to his order, must have been by long odds the finest in private hands in America. His correspondence with Charles Willson Peale, with Trumbull, and many others, testifies to his encouragement of painting. He was especially interested in the foundation of the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, 1805-1808, in which both Mills and Peale were active. Note: p86f3 It is not too much to claim him as the first American connoisseur and patron of the arts.
Note: p86m5 Far beyond the range of personal contact with Jefferson, moreover, his influence made itself felt indirectly, through his buildings, in public and domestic architecture, in general stylistic tradition. Note: p86m6 The example of Virginia assisted in stimulating other states to rivalry in their public buildings, though none at first equalled the Virginia Capitol in qualities of monumental planning or classic treatment of the exterior. Note: p86m7 In assisting the determination of their types an arrangement Jefferson exerted an influence of a very unusual nature. Occupying a political position unique among architects of any period, he had an influence on the very foundation of the programs, through the moulding of the organic law, and this at a period when the law was to be completely remodelled. While in most cases the architectural bearing of his legal reforms was of course quite secondary in his mind, the results will be found none the less important. Through the separation of the various functions of the government, the establishment of the judiciary and penal systems, he, along with the other Revolutionary statesmen, left a lasting mark on American architecture, and to a certain degree on European architecture as well. The legislative buildings and the reformatories of the New World, of which he had given the first examples, were considered worthy of study by foreigners to whom the spread of republicanism brought the same problems. Thus it came about, naturally enough, that it was in the types of buildings radically influenced by new political ideas and forms of government that America made its first contribution to the general development of architecture. Though never ceasing to hope for independent buildings for the separate governmental branches, Jefferson sought, when forced by lack of means to house them under a single roof, at least to give clear distinction to the various parts by logical analysis and balance of coördinate branches, thus establishing the principle though not the exact formula for later solutions.
Note: p87m1 Of the two schemes to which he gave his approval for the external form of buildings primarily legislative -- the temple-scheme and the scheme with a central dome and wings -- it was the latter, with the prestige of its adoption in the National Capitol, which became the accepted form for state capitols, and to a considerable extent for foreign capitols, down to our own day. Its victory over the temple-scheme which Jefferson had personally introduced was not without a struggle, which was rendered more severe in consequence of a certain lack of relation between the domical building and its use which be came evident with time. The Rotunda of the National Capitol, like the central hall at Richmond, was originally intended as a room for conference of both legislative houses, but unlike the hall at Richmond, it had an external expression out of all proportion to the use which it proved to receive. In the long years before the Rotunda was completed, indeed, the intended use was lost sight of, and to this day the conference of both houses is held in the Hall of Representatives. There exists thus a lack of practical function in the Rotunda, which the monumental expressiveness of the great dome has not prevented foreign architects from remarking. For commonwealths of the limited means of the States just after the Revolution the domical plan had the drawback of greater size, complexity and expense.
Note: p87m2 From whatever causes, a number of the earlier state capitols followed by preference Jefferson's temple-scheme, and in some of these, at least, a direct influence from the Virginia Capitol can be traced. The capitol of Kentucky erected at Frankfort, 1827 to 1831, was an Ionic temple having, like the one at Richmond, a hexastyle portico in front only. Note: p87f1 Later date and greater means resulted in a Greek character in the order and an execution entirely in marble; an incongruous addition was the small domed lantern over the stairway. Although there had been two previous capitols of less ambitious form, built about 1794 and 1816, the intimate relations of Kentucky with her parent state, together with the close correspondence of the forms, leave little doubt that it was a case of germination deferred until the soil was prepared. In the same series belongs the Capitol of Tennessee, built from the designs of William Strickland about 1850, and still intact. Note: p88f1 This was a rationalization of the temple type, similar in general scheme to Jefferson's rejected studies with the porticoes at both ends. Here these porticoes are eight columns wide and one deep, and there are two other porticoes of six columns to mark the entrances on the sides. The Ionic order is again employed, but over a full basement story instead of a podium. A reminiscence of the Colonial scheme with its cupola appears in the tower over the center, crowned with the inevitable Monument of Lysicrates. The relation of interior and exterior, the expression of the plan, is much superior to that of Jefferson's design, in just the measure that the adherence to the classical type is less strict.
Note: p88m Whereas in France, when an individual will transplanted the temple to modern soil, the fidelity of academic architects to functional requirements left it isolated, in America, without this restraint, it was multiplied as nowhere else. The sophomoric analogy of the young republic with Rome was on the lips of everyone. Encouraged by Jefferson's example its builders adopted the temple form not only for their capitols, but for all other government buildings, for banks, and even for dwellings. The second United States Bank in Philadelphia, by Latrobe and Strickland, the old State House at New Haven and the Custom House in New York, both by Ithiel Towne, are among the chief of the buildings which may be traced thus indirectly to Jefferson and the Virginia Capitol.
Note: p88m2 Aside from stimulating the literal imitation of the temple form, the Capitol must have given a powerful impulse to more classical treatment generally -- above all to the adoption of porticoes rising to the main cornice. Dobie's design for the National Capitol shows an early use of such a portico, which soon became almost universal for public buildings, and, in Virginia at least, for private residences as well. For these last, to be sure, Jefferson gave more direct models in his domestic buildings, yet these were not only later in date but far less conspicuous than the Capitol of the State. Its portico dominated the archtecture of Virginia.
Note: p88m3 In his residence designs such as those for Monticello, Shadwell, Edgehill and Farmington --beside giving a powerful general stimulus to substantive housebuilding in Virginia -- he furnished types dependent on large masses, good proportion, and conventional detail, admirably adapted to local conditions, which stamped their impress on almost every southern house of distinction before the Civil War. The portico with a single large order embracing the full height of the building, in the use of which Monticello was for some time unique in the South, became the accepted motive of the early houses of the new century. Numerous examples outside of Virginia could be cited, such as the Bulloch and Hansell houses at Rosewell, Georgia, Note: p89f1 which are almost purely Jeffersonian, while others show further development in the directions he had pointed. The isolation of the servants' quarters, with connections below grade, was likewise imitated. The full temple form -- as it had been employed for domestic architecture in a modified way at Arlington and in purity in Jefferson's pavilions of the University -- was imitated widely, both in the South and in the North. Such magnificent examples as Berry Hill, Halifax County, Virginia, Note: p89f2 with its octastyle Greek Doric portico, and the Bennett House, New Bedford, Massachusetts, with its three-fold repetition of the temple, are descended, by many removes, from the initiative of Jefferson. Note: p89f3
Note: p89m1 First in his insistence on academic correctness of detail, and later in his imitation of classical models in their entirety, Jefferson thus initiated movements which were wide-spread. It is a commonplace that after 1800 American architecture lost the slenderness and freedom of detail that had characterized it during the Colonial period. Already the idea has not been wanting that this change, viewed as a degradation, was due primarily to the influence of Jefferson's works. Note: p89f4 A truer view would be that it was a part of a compelling and universal movement in which Jefferson was the American pioneer. Whatever may now be thought of it, and we may be sure æsthetic judgments on no period are ever final, it was a movement which every cultivated person of that day applauded. Foreign visitors were unanimous in praise, and compatriots testified their agreement by imitation. It cannot be questioned, moreover, that it met a real need in American architecture, which the naïve and delicate Colonial style could never have satisfied. For the monumental requirements of a powerful nation and its great capital the Colonial was unquestionably inadequate. After its complete failure to produce a worthy design in the competition for the Capitol building, Jefferson's urgings were no longer needed to make this inadequacy apparent to every one, and the victory of the classic in American Architecture was assured. Although it was inevitable that the pervasive classical movement would ultimately reach America, the direction it would take was uncertain. Jefferson, who provided the means of introduction, turned it in a definite channel. At his first opportunity to design a monumental building, he adopted a parti which established the architectural style of the early republic. Directly or indirectly Amercan classicism traces its ancestry to Jefferson, who may truly be called the father of our national architecture.