Restored Presidential Houses ~ Montpelier

Before: Old House Journal, after: Montpelier Foundation – Kenneth Wyner.

Sticking with the 4th of July weekend’s theme of restored early presidential houses, this is Montpelier, the home of our fourth President, James Madison.

It is located in Orange, Virginia. Unlike Jefferson’s Monticello and Washington’s Mount Vernon, Montpelier remained in use as a private home until 1984. In the later 19th century, the brick house was coated in stucco and painted pink. After 1900, the house was tripled in size and significantly altered internally. It was restored to its Madison-era (1820) appearance between 2003 and 2008.

The restoration demolished additions made to the house by the DuPont family after 1900, removed the stucco exterior to restore the original brick exterior, and reconstructed the house’s interior as it appeared during Madison’s tenure as owner. The work was based on extensive physical and documentary research. Authentic materials were used in the restoration.

An excellent 2008 Old House Journal article on the restoration can be found at: https://www.oldhouseonline.com/…/finding-james…/

Although none of us will ever own a house of this significance, the lessons learned in its restoration can be applied to our own efforts. “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” includes information on the methods and materials used in restoring major landmarks, historic tax credit rehabs, and private home restorations, showing a range of options to solve issues in your house.

Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available from the author in our online shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.

© Scott T. Hanson 2023

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