Updates from the Restoration of James Madison's Montpelier
In December, 2003, the Montpelier Foundation launched a complete restoration of the Montpelier mansion, the home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, author of the Bill of Rights, fourth President, and chief architect of the American Republic. The decision to restore was based primarily on the importance of James Madison to the formation of the United States government and an 18-month state-of-the art architectural and archaeological investigation that revealed that much of the Madison-era home was intact within the duPont additions.
With the restoration, the mansion is being returned in size, structure, form, and finishes to the home that James and Dolley Madison knew in the 1820s.
The restoration project has already removed alterations made to the Montpelier mansion after President Madison’s death in 1836. A majority of the removals involved taking off the two large wings that had been added onto the mansion by the duPont family in the early 1900s, thereby reducing the mansion from 55 rooms to 22 rooms. Portions of the home are open to visitors during restoration, providing guests with an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the restoration of the lifelong home of an American President and patriot.
A blog has been created to keep the public up to date on the restoration's progress (www.montpelierrestoration.wordpress.com) and it is updated weekly with new photos and videos. The updates are written and posted by Gardiner Hallock, the Director of Architectural Research. Photographs and video are largely the work of architectural historian Maggie Wilson. For more information on James Madison and his home at Montpelier visit the Montpelier Foundation's website at http://www.montpelier.org/.