Make your way down to the Virginia State Capitol to help the lawmakers balance the budget... OK, maybe you can't quite do that. But you can tour the Capitol and catch a glimpse of Jean-Pierre Fouquet’s historic model.
When Jefferson accepted the task of designing for the Commonwealth of Virginia a new State Capitol in Richmond, he was serving as the United States Minister to France in Paris.
His idea for the design, utilizing the classical architectural vocabulary of ancient Greece and Rome and heavily influenced by the Roman-built Maison Carrée located in Nimes, France, was to become the first Classical Revival temple style structure built in America.
While he had employed the considerable talents of the well-respected architectural draftsman Charles-Louis Clerisseau to assist in creating the drawings to be used in construction, Jefferson did not wish to leave anything to chance when it came to realizing his vision for the Capitol.
Knowing that no builder in the United States at that time had ever assisted in building a Classical temple, he commissioned the renowned French model maker Jean-Pierre Fouquet to create a model from which the builders in Richmond would work in constructing the Virginia State Capitol.
The one question we can't answer? Why it's called the Virginia State Capitol when Virginia likes to refer to itself as a commonwealth.