Rosebud (with brothers Michael, David and Howard Purser on site during the project) has finished removing the finishes from the floors. A wax was known to have been applied to the floors in M-106 (North Passage), M-107 (Entry), M-108 (Drawing Room) and M-109 (South Passage) and they will probably be back in the next month or so to wax the floors in those rooms. Rosebud has done an excellent job bringing the floors back to their circa 1812 appearance (including finding evidence of ink spills that possibly date to Madison’s ownership of the house) and their work has resulted in the restoration of the last major element of James Madison’s home.
The painters continue to prime M-112 (Nelly’s Best Room) and have finished painting the newly installed Chinese rail on the colonnade. The painters have also primed M-113 (Nelly’s Best Room Closet) a Prussian blue color. Our paint conservator, Dr. Susan Buck, found that this closet was only painted once during the Madison’s 80 year ownership of Montpelier (c. 1764 to 1844) and so the color will be the only visible paint that reflects the bright, vibrant finishes used to decorate the woodwork in the c. 1764 incarnation of Montpelier.
M-105 (Mr. Madison’s Room)
Keith Forry has finished repairing the floors in this room. In the video above he is repairing a section of the floor that had suffered insect damage with a heart-pine patch (also called a dutchman).
M-109 (South Passage)
Keith Forry has started to repair the insect damaged floors in this room.
M-206 (Restoration Room)
Gene Lyman continues to repair the door that leads from M-206 to the colonnade deck.
1797 Cellar (M-003)
Olivier Dupont-Huin has finished installing the 1797 cellar stair.
M-008 (South Wing Cellar Passage)
Bill Bichell is installing the door frames for the cellar passage doors. Doors on the cellar entrances were not originally found on the house in Madison’s time but are needed because the cellars will be heated and air conditioned. Without these doors, insulation would have had to be installed between the first floor joists in order to stop condensation from forming on the framing. The insulation would have created a much greater impact on the cellar interiors and instead the impact is limited to just the exterior doorways.
Kevin Neito and Ray Cannetti continue to repair and repoint portions of the exterior masonry.
All of the utilities for the existing duPont kitchen have been cut off and all of the recyclable elements (metals, architectural elements) are being removed. The kitchen, which dates to circa 1910, will be demolished next Monday.
Mac Ward has installed the framing for the South Wing’s eastern deck. He is currently working to install a service trench for the planned wheelchair lift. After the retaining walls for the service trench are poured he will complete the deck and install the stairs.