The Lady (she of all things Jeffersonian...) pointed out this fascinating little article in The HooK about an old jail house in Lovingston, Virginia, that actually was designed - lo and behold - by Thomas Jefferson. I added the "lo and behold" because, as the article points out,
For generations, rumor had it that the Nelson County Courthouse in Lovingston was designed by Thomas Jefferson. So what else is new? As UVA architecture professor Richard Guy Wilson jokes, "There are similar rumors about almost every building around with red brick and white trim."
What's really interesting is how the drawings Jefferson did for the jail are a distillation of post-colonial Virginia - and Southern - society in Jefferson's day.
Here's the drawing:
(click to enlarge)
The first thing you notice is how the jail is segregated by race and gender. There are separate cells for white male and female debtors, white male criminals, white female criminals, black males and black females. There's also a solitary cell.
A couple of points, then. No category for "black debtor." Blacks were overwhelmingly enslaved in Virginia. A slave cannot own property and cannot be, therefore, in debt. There is also the fact that whites are catergorised as debtors or criminals. Blacks are only refered to by their genders. I asked The Lady about Jefferson's use of the term "black" as opposed to "negro." She says that Jefferson use of the term "black" was normal for him in his writings.
And take a look at his design descriptions, and material and cost estimates:
(click to enlarge) Fortunately, Jefferson had very legible handwriting.
All in all, an interesting peek into the past.
(tip 'o' the hat: The Lady!)