Contemporaries Assessment of Jefferson's Architecture

"I am cramped in this design by his [Jefferson's] prejudices in favor of the architecture of the old french books, out of which he fishes everything. . . " Latrobe to Lenthall, May 3-4, 1805, DLC, (178/G6), and "prejudices in favor of old french books, out of which he fishes everything." (178/F13)

Jefferson was an "excellent architect out of books. . . but loves the taste of Queen Elisabeth best." Latrobe to Christian Ignatius Latrobe, June 5, 1805. (213/F1) The Papers of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, microfliche edition, ed. T. E. Jeffrey (Clifton, N. J.: 1976), 40/E7

"With Mr. Jefferson I conversed at length on the subject of architecture--Palladio he said `was the Bible'--you should get it and stick close to it. . . . He disapproved of parapet walls--no house could be made perfectly tight with them--there must be a gutter along the wall, wich in heavy falls of rain would sometimes overflow--as was the case with the President's House in Washington...the roof should cover the walls and the balustrade could be raised above it, as at Monticello which tho' not handsome was safe. . . . The Tuscan order was too plain--it would do for your barn, etc. and [?] was not fit for a dwelling house. The Doric order would not cost much more and could be vastly handsomer--his was Doric--. . . The Italian rule for windows is a third of the whose space--viz[?]--7 feet of light to every 21 feet of wall. He is a great advocate for light and air--as you predicedted he was for giving you your octagons-. . . Dinsmore. . . or Oldham . . . eiyther of them would build you ar house without any false architecture, too much the rage at present." Thomas Jefferson quoted by, Colonel Isaac A. Coles to General John Hartwell Cocke, February 23, 1816, UVA, Cocke Papers, No. 640, Box 21

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