Montpelier Restoration Update – 7/23/2008


The painters continue to prepare M-108 (Drawing Room) for painting and are also priming doors and the new window sashes. Jack Fisher is has put the final paint coat on in M-211 (Southeast Chamber).

Above is a video of Farrar Woltz graining the rails, newel and risers of the stair in M-106 (North Passage). After Farrar finished the painters applied three coats of spar varnish on to protect the work.

The painters have also primed two frames in M-108 (Drawing Room) that will hold two large reproductions of paintings that were known to have been in the Drawing Room (one of which is currently on display in Montpelier’s Grills Gallery). The frames were made by Blaise Gaston and replicate a plantation made frame that Madison might have had made for the paintings at Montpelier.


The carpenters continue to install the new doors. Currently they are working on the exterior doors in M-100 (North Wing Room), M-118 (South Wing Room), M-001 (North Kitchen ) and M-009 (South Kitchen).

We have also started to receive our reproduction mortise locks from traditional blacksmith Peter Ross. The new locks are based off of evidence found on the original doors.


Blaise Gaston is working on making door frames for the cellar, walnut and heart- pine interior door thresholds, elements for the south wing deck and interior doors.


Bill Bichell continues to fit the new window sashes in M-200 (Small Bedroom) and M-100 (North Wing Room) and M-118 (South Wing Room). Mark Gooch is also glazing the new window sashes, glazed doors and door transoms.

M-118 (South Wing Chamber)

Mason Kevin Neito has laid a brick hearth in the fireplace. Bricks were a typical material for hearths in the 18th and early 19th centuries and Kevin used hand-made bricks to reproduce the texture of a period hearth. He also swept clay into the joints instead of sand to better replicate its period appearance.


The site of the circa 1908 duPont kitchen addition has been cleared of most of the rubble. The next step in the process is for the archaeologists to come in and determine how best to preserve the archaeological deposits from Madison’s 1797 kitchen that are hopefully found below the foundation of the duPont kitchen.

Mac Ward continues to prepare the framing for the stairs that will lead from M-118 (South Wing Room) to east lawn.

A paving material has also been successfully tested for the exterior paths. A product called “Klingstone” (a liquid polyurethane consolidant) will be used to consolidate a mixture of cobbles and river stones that will be installed over a compacted base of crushed bluestone. The mixture of cobbles and river stone was determined with the help of the archaeologists and is based on surviving paths and gravels that they have excavated in the past.


3 Responses to Montpelier Restoration Update – 7/23/2008

  1. […] Montpelier Restoration Update: With their Grand Opening just around the corner, Montpelier’s restoration team has been hard at work in and around James Madison’s estate.[Montpelier Restoration Updates] […]

  2. Rob says:

    Can you tell me how well the Klingstone Paths have held up over the years? Have they required much maintenance, and have they degraded over time? I’m curious about this product, but am having trouble finding any reviews after long term usage.

  3. Double Glazing Companies Whitwick

    Montpelier Restoration Update – 7/23/2008 | Montpelier Curatorial Blog

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