Montpelier Restoration Update – 2/6/2008


Finished Dining Room Plastering finished plastering 104

The masons are whitewashing the ceilings in M-104 (Mr. Madison’s Room) and M-105 (Dining Room). They have also started to prepare the South Wing (M-115 through M-118) for plastering.



dino painting baseboard 100

Dino Copeland has primed the baseboards in M-100.


M-106 (North Passage)

Mac finishing railing

Mac Ward has finished the railing for the stair. He is currently installing the skirt board and the cove molding that runs under the nosing of the treads.


M-108 (Drawing Room)

Ed Gomez has started to install the cleats that will support the Drawing Room pediment.


M-109 (South Passage)

Gene working on the paneling

Gene Lyman is repairing the longest section of the circa 1765 wainscot.


M-111 (Back Chamber)

Bill Bichell continues to install the door frame between M-111 (Back Chamber) and M-114 (Vaulted Closet).


M-118 (Nelly’s Chamber)

finished 118 hearth repairs

The repairs to the flooring around the hearth have been finished. Unlike the other hearths in the house, which are laid with sandstone or marble, the physical evidence suggests that this hearth was originally paved with bricks. Brick was a common material for hearths in Madison’s time and so bricks will be re-laid.


M-212 (Southwest Chamber)

renderin 212 fireplace face rendered 212 fireplace

Wayne Mays has plastered the brick face of the fireplace and a portion of the sides.


M-001 (Dolley’s Kitchen)

Ed installing dresser shelves Finished Dresser

Ed Gomez has finished installing the kitchen dresser.


M-002 (North Cellar Passage)

Olivier cutting skirt

Olivier Dupont-Huin is almost finished with the North Cellar stair and will soon start to build a similar stair in M-008 (South Cellar Passage).


M-005 and M-006 (1765 Cellar)

Les Lamois has started to cut mortises into the sill of the reconstructed partition to receive the new studs. Once the studs are installed he will nail riven clapboards to them and complete the partition.

The masons are starting to repoint the failed mortar joints on the walls of these rooms. Years of unmitigated rising damp and exterior drainage issues had caused the mortar found near the cellar floor level to fail.

Earthern floor sample

Mason Wayne Mays has also produced two mockups of the material that will be used to recreate an earthen floor in the 1765 cellar. A small portion of the original clay floor was uncovered by the Montpelier archaeologists when they excavated the cellar and so we are attempting to restore an earthen floor that will be similar to the original. The clay floor samples are made out of brick dust, clay and lime.



The railing is being prepared for installation and the boards that will hold the individual deck panels in place have been installed.

Colonnade spacer deck boards



removing roof of race tower race tower body on truck

The race tower, built in the 1990s to view the bi-annual steeplechase races held at Montpelier, was taken down. The tower will be reconstructed on a private farm outside of Richmond.


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