Monticello Florida is tucked away in Florida’s Panhandle. Located in Jefferson County, and in close proximity to Georgia, Monticello is one of those small towns that time forgot. There are numerous old Florida towns up north, but Monticello stands out for its graceful architectural homes and buildings that depict some of the best period architecture in one locale.
Known as a Main Street town, Monticello has the distinct presence of classic American, yet there are more European inspired forms of architecture than most small towns throughout the northern sector. The giant oak trees line the streets, casting shade onto immaculately groomed landscapes, that house period homes, many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some are private residences, others were once private homes back in the 19th and early 20th century, and now house museums, medical offices and recreational centers.
The town’s architecture consists of varied styles, but what is most prominent are its Greek Revival (1850-1874), Gothic Revival (1840-1880), Queen Anne (1880-1910), and Ante-bellum architecture. Some other periods to be found are Italianate (1840-1890), Bungalow/Craftsman, Classical Revival, and more. What is most apparent when admiring these buildings, is the amount of skilled workmanship that went into developing the woodwork and structures.
Gothic Revival in Monticello consists of archways, many pointed like one would notice on a church. A lot of public buildings in the area are more Gothic inspired, from churches, to town centers. Gothic is noticeable for its pointy archways, and type of ribbed bend in the archway or structure. The Victorian Revival buildings and private homes are similar to Gothic, yet they are more subdued, less grand. There are the less detailed types like these that are used to house boutiques, such as specialty and antique shops. What makes Monticello stand out is the fact that many of the structures used as private homes are indeed Gothic influenced, and when driving or walking past these dwellings, one gets the feeling of being in a “big” town, due to the mammoth size in width, height and impressive angular columns. In the smaller areas of town, where it isn’t purely residential, one can find different periods of architecture on common-place buildings as well.
Monticello is located twenty-three miles from Tallahassee, the state capitol. One of the best times to go is in the fall, when that part of north Florida experiences a brisk drop in temperature and the leaves change color. It is quite a glorious site to behold in Florida, known for its hot tropical climate in general, to experience a cooler variance than the southern tip of the state. To get to Monticello, take I-10. If you go to Monticello in June, there is the annual Watermelon Festival, where they crown a watermelon queen.