This was Thomas Jefferson’s residence from 1785 to 1789.
Thomas Jefferson moved here when he was officially appointed Ambassador to France in 1785. Jefferson arrived in France when it was still a monarchy and witnessed the beginning of the French Revolution. His prestige was such that he was invited to sit on the National Assembly committee which was drafting a constitution.
1785 October 17-1789 September 26: Jefferson moved to the Hôtel de Langeac at the corner of the Rue de Berri and the Champs-Élysées on October 17, 1785. He considered this house more worthy of his position. Before moving, he wrote to Abigail Adams in early September 1785: “I have at length procured a house in a situation much more pleasing to me than my present. It is at the grille des champs Elysees, but within the city. It suits me in every circumstance but the price, being dearer than the one I am now in. It has a clever garden to it.”7 The house was designed by the popular architect Jean-F. T. Chalgrin for the Marquise de Langeac. Drawings survive at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Several of Chalgrin’s buildings still exist in Paris today. The Hôtel de Langeac had two stories and twenty-four rooms – two were oval-shaped – and it had “modern plumbing in the form of water-closets.”8 There was also a basement. On the lot was an English garden and stables. The rent was 7,500 livres a year.9
There is a memorial plaque, placed there in 1919 by the alumni of the University of Virginia, marking the place where the house stood.