Monticello celebrated the opening of the brand new Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center with a big bash yesterday. Serving as the 21st-century gateway to Monticello, the new facility– sprawling over 42,000 square feet– is the largest, most ambitious project in the history of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Prominent historians gave remarks, the Williamsburg Field Musick fife and drum corps played music, and visitors checked out four exhibitions. Free of charge, the festivities also included complimentary souvenirs. Situated on the lower slope of Monticello mountain, the Visitor Center was constructed in an environmentally-friendly way– with two “green” roofs and natural building materials.