But Americans were not as enamored with the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio as Jefferson was, and they did not clamor to build villas in Monticello’s likeness. “It was a highly idiosyncratic house,” says Mellins. Jefferson used its rotunda as a kind of museum of the New World, displaying artifacts Lewis and Clark collected on their expedition. “It so powerfully expresses his ideas that I am not sure it was something that people could so easily accommodate to express their own personalities,” adds Mellins.
Nevertheless, certain elements of the historic home have become widely used. The exhibition’s curators cite the Amos Patterson House, a home in Union, New York, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as an example. Built in 1800, the home has a temple-fronted portico and Palladian windows reminiscent of Monticello.