James Monroe (1758-1831), the fifth President of the United States, began the construction of Oak Hill, his Loudoun County mansion, between 1820 and 1823 and lived here following his presidency until 1830, the year before he died.
For the design of Oak Hill, Monroe sought ideas from both Thomas Jefferson and James Hoban, architect of the White House. Local builder William Benton constructed the house. Its dominant architectural feature is the unusual pentastyle portico.
Oak Hill was visited by Lafayette in 1825 during his tour of America, and it was here that Monroe drafted the Monroe Doctrine, a policy aimed to limit European expansion into the Western Hemisphere and assign the United States the role of protector of independent Western nations.