Monday, September 17, 2012

Magnificent Homes of America - James Madison's Montpelier

I can't decide what I love the most about this incredible property,
the rolling landscape around it or the classical proportions of the house itself.
What a beautiful drive it was through the winding roads of hunt country in Virginia.
And the weather was beautiful too.  In fact, our guide told me, 
"There are about 10 days out of the year when the weather is just perfect here
and you're lucky enough to have one of them today!"

This is the view that James Madison enjoyed 
while writing the Constitution in his study on the second floor.
It would definitely be inspirational to me!

Inside, a facinating glimpse of the restoration in-progress, which began in 2003.  
In the closet, they discovered a small piece of the original wallpaper.  I love detective stories!


Much of the house still remains unfurnished. 
The major concentration has been to return the structure to it's original form,
which was completed on Constitution Day , Sept.17, 2008.
Since then, efforts have been made to find and acquire the original furnishings 
The Cockburn side chair is one the the few pieces that has survived.  
I was intrigued with the heart motif and asked the guide about it .
It was typical of venacular carpentry work in the 1700's and a signature of 
Robert Walker, who was the mentor of the chair designer, Robert Cockburn.


Outside, I enjoy a teachable moment with James and Dolly!




But I saved the best for last - Madison's Temple.
Situated on the north yard, it is a fitting symbol of Madison's genius.

"He chose the architecture of the ancient republic of Rome 
to symbolize his dreams for the new american republic"
Montpelier Foundation

"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"







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