CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello has installed a Marioff HI-FOG® water mist fire suppression system as part of its ongoing efforts to protect Jefferson's iconic home. The Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to restore and preserve Monticello. Marioff, part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is a leading provider of water mist fire protection technology and supplier of system solutions worldwide.
During his lifetime Thomas Jefferson was no stranger to the devastation of fire. On February 1, 1770, Jefferson's boyhood home, Shadwell, was destroyed by fire. As Jefferson wrote to his friend John Page, he lamented the loss " of every paper I had in the world, and almost every book. On a reasonable estimate I calculate the cost of the books burned to have been £200. sterling."
Another house was built on the property, but Jefferson never again lived at Shadwell. He instead concentrated his efforts on Monticello. A self-taught architect, Jefferson referred to Monticello as his "essay in architecture," and construction continued on the mountaintop for 40 years. The final product is a unique blend of beauty and function that combines the best elements of the ancient and old worlds with a fresh American perspective.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Gilmer, " I am as happy no where else and in no other society, and all my wishes end, where I hope my days will end, at Monticello. Too many scenes of happiness mingle themselves with all the recollections of my native woods and fields to suffer them to be supplanted in my affection by any other."Monticello is the only U.S. presidential and private home on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List, selected along with the University of Virginia. The World Heritage Convention stated that the sites "represent a masterpiece of human creative genius" and "exhibit an important interchange of human values." Over the past 89 years, the Foundation has restored the house, returned many of the original furnishings and collections, and hosted more than 27 million visitors from around the world. As part of its ongoing mission of preservation and education, the Foundation recently updated Monticello's fire suppression system. They had determined that the prior system, although diligently maintained, upgraded and evaluated had reached the end of its reasonable lifespan. The Foundation collaborated with Marioff to upgrade the conventional sprinkler system to a HI-FOG water mist fire suppression system, which was commissioned in April.