SIGStory #7

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Immediately upon seeing Monticello, you are struck by how modern it is.

Jefferson divided the spaces inside into private space, office space, guest space. Similar to how realtors describe properties today.

Jefferson also installed the latest gadgets like self closing doors and skylights and hidden storage areas. These installations resulted in the continual renovation of Monticello while Jefferson was alive.

Jefferson never stopped rebuilding and shopping. When he died his heirs were faced with large debts that could not be paid without selling off his possesions including his library of books.

Monticello went into extreme disrepair after Jeffersons death when it was purchased by Uriah Levy the first Jewish Commodore of the US navy and a 5th generation American. It was restored by Levy and his family including Jefferson Levy, his nephew. The Levy family then sold Monticello to the foundation formed to preserve Monticello for the Nation.

Uriah Levy was courtmarshalled 6 times because of antisemitism and each time POTUS exonerated him. Levy, an American Patriot, abolished corporal punishment in the U S Navy. He also negotiated the release of John Paul Jones body so it could be buried at the US naval academy.

Jefferson designed and built Monticello but Uriah Levy restored it for the Nation.

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