Monptlier Restoration Update – 4/23/2008


The walls and ceiling of M-111 (Nelly’s Back Room) and M-112 (Nelly’s Best Room) have received their white coat. The ceiling of M-107 (Entry) has been brown coated and the single layer of plaster has been applied to the walls of M-009 (South Kitchen). Traces of a single plaster coat survives in these spaces and it helps to mark these rooms as secondary to the more finished spaces on the first and second floor. The firebox of the fireplace in M-200 (Small Bedroom) has also been plastered.

Wayne Mays also continues to repair the plaster in M-108 and he is currently patching small areas of missing plaster.


Dino C. and Greg Calloway continue to prepare the surviving Madison-era doors for painting. After they have been prepared for painting Olivier Dupont-Huin and Keith Forry restore the doors by patching any holes and expanding the doors back to their original lengths and widths.

Colonnade Deck

Bill Bichell and Gene Lyman continue to prepare the railing for installation.

South Wing Porch

Mac Ward continues to prepare the framing and supports for the south wing porch and the wheelchair lift. The new framing is made out of heart pine.

South Wing Cellar Entrance (East Side)

Jerry Campbell is installing a brick veneer over the poured concrete retaining walls. He is using hand-molded bricks made by Old Carolina Brick Company to match the Madison-era bricks found at Montpelier.


The final grade has been established on the west side. As is shown in the video above, stakes that are marked with the height of the new grade level are first installed and then top soil is brought in to raise the lawn back to its circa 1812 level. There is no documentary or physical evidence for Madison-era foundation plantings and we are currently planning on seeding or sodding the new top soil. Landscape architect John James and restoration carpenter Thomas Tyler are both shown in the video.

Restoration Advisory Committee Meeting

A meeting of our Restoration Advisory Committee was also held this week. The advisory committee is composed of preservation and restoration professionals from other historic sites, such as Monticello, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, Popular Forest and Old Salem as well as organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. They have been involved with the project since the initial investigation phase and continue to offer invaluable guidance. In the photo above they are considering different approaches to replicating the historic finish on the colonnade columns.


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