Although this is less dramatic (and certainly smaller at 2000 sq.ft.) than Monticello, Poplar Forest has elegant proportions and unusual features. The octagonal dining room, centerpiece of the house, shows Jefferson's architectural ingenuity. Museum displays in the basement of the house offer more insight into the construction of Poplar Forest and life there for the widowed President and his grandchildren, who often visited here. Our guide was very knowledgeable and pleasant, patiently answering all the questions we threw at her.
Don't expect to see much original detail. A fire in 1845 burned everything but the brickwork. But the restoration is using only methods available at the time it was built in 1806 to reproduce fireplaces, plaster walls, millwork (hand-planed), windowpanes, etc. according to Jefferson's original design. The gardens and interior are painstaking works-in-progress, so another visit next year would offer more to see.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.