Montpelier Restoration Update – 3/26/2008


plastering 112 M-111 scatch coat 108 brown coat

The mason’s have applied the brown coat to the ceiling in M-108 (Drawing room). They have also troweled the scratch coat onto the ceiling in M-112 (Nelly’s Best Room) and M-111 (Nelly’s back room).



scraping doors lock hardware evidence ghost

Dino C. continues to prepare the surviving Madison-era doors for painting. All of the loose paint is being removed from the doors and, as a result, an amazing amount of information on the Madison period hardware is being exposed. Clear evidence of different lock types, as well as knob locations, key holes and escutcheon plates, is being uncovered. Mark Wenger, the lead architect, is carefully tracing the evidence and then using the tracings to design the new door hardware.

Keith Forry also continues to repair and patch the surviving Madison-era doors.



Blaise Gaston continues to mill elements for the period II cellar stair and is working on exterior doors and transoms for the wings.


M-109 (South Passage)

The masons are installing and re-securing the lath in this space. The new lath is reused, riven, heart pine that has been recovered from other pre-1850 houses in the region.


M-110 (South Stair)

mac installing nosing period I stair finished period I stair

Mac Ward has finished installing the railing for this stair as well as the skirt boards.

lathing 110

After Mac finished installing the trim, the masons installed new lath for the walls in the stair well. The next step will be to apply the plaster.


M-003 (1797 Cellar)

Les installing partition

Les Lamois continues to install the horizontal, beaded heart pine sheathing in this room.


M-005, M-006, M-008 (1765 Cellar)

whitewashing 1765 cellar whitewashed cellar

The masons have whitewashed the walls of these spaces with a thin whitewash. The thin whitewash will allow the new brickwork installed during the restoration to be visible while still providing a restored finish for the walls. The exposed ceiling framing, which features evidence of the cellar’s evolution, will not be coated with a new layer of whitewash.



Gene with passage transoms

The transoms for the north and south portico doors (the doorways flanking the central door) are being installed by Gene Lyman.


Colonnade Deck

ed installing colonnade threshold

Ed Gomez is installing a new threshold for the door into M-206 (Architecture Room).



Mac installing lift supports

Mac Ward has started to install the supports for the handicap lift that will take visitors in wheel chairs from the south cellar passage up to a deck on the south wing and into M-111 (back chamber).

cutting flag stone moving flag stone flag stone laid

The masons also continue to lay the flagstones in front of the cellar passage doors.


M-008 (South Cellar Passage)

Olivier installing tread treads looking up south cellar stair framing

Olivier Dupont-Huin continues to install the treads and risers for the south cellar stair.



bathroom site archaeology

The archaeologists have started to excavate an area northeast of the mansion that will be the site of the new visitor bathrooms. This excavation is being undertaken primarily to mitigate the impact of the new building on any possible below-ground resources. However, prior excavations have revealed evidence of architectural rubble that is possibly associated with the c. 1809 building campaign and hopefully more will be uncovered. For more information on the Montpelier Archaeology department and their recent finds, check out their blog at


2 Responses to Montpelier Restoration Update – 3/26/2008

  1. Jean Bevis (Jean Bee) says:

    Just signed up for the newsletter and am fascinated. Thank you for making this information available, particularly because my volunteer time in the lab is thereby made even more meaningful.

  2. Jean,

    My pleasure and thank you for volunteering in the lab. The work the archaeologists have done has proven to be invaluable to the restoration effort.

    Take care and let me know if there is anything else you’d like to see on the update site.


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