On Monday, December 9th, Monticello announced that it will be lowering the general admission prices to $5 for two days this month -- on December 14th and 15th in celebration of the 26th anniversary of its inscription designation on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. This general admission day pass to Monticello includes a guided tour of the house and access to the grounds, the introductory film, exhibitions, and The Shop at Monticello.
It is interesting to note that at the time of its designation in 1987, $5 was the price for a ticket to Monticello. Both Monticello and the University of Virginia were recognized as ‘World Heritage Sites.’ along with the Great Wall of China (the world’s longest structure made by man); the Acropolis in Athens; the city of Venice and its lagoon; and the Roman city of Bath in the United Kingdom.
The UNESCO Criteria for Selection states that each site must be “of outstanding universal value” and meet one of the ten selection criteria. Monticello is the only U.S. presidential and private home on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The designation’s “Statement of Significance” details Thomas Jefferson’s architectural ingenuity and use of neo-classical elements in creating both Monticello and the University of Virginia. The committee also noted how Jefferson’s architecture symbolizes the ideals of the Enlightenment and the awareness of Monticello’s natural surroundings in its construction.
Thomas Jefferson, third president, philosopher, scientist, and author of the Declaration of Independence, helped establish the foundations of self-government and individual freedom we know today. A self-taught architect, Jefferson referred to Monticello as his “essay in architecture.”
Thomas Jefferson Foundation, incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, "seeks to engage a global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas." In addition to its being a United Nations World Heritage Site. Monticello is also recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The Foundation receives no support from either federal or state budgets and its mission to preserve Monticello and to 'educate and inform the whole mass of the people,' is derived from contributions and from more than 450,000 people who visit Monticello each year.