Orange, Va.—The $24-million restoration of James Madison’s lifelong home, Montpelier, has been completed, making it the last of the Founding Fathers’ homes to be preserved. “The story of Montpelier, a National Trust Historic Site, is a centuries-long tale that embraces the birth of a new nation, the Civil War and the coming of the modern age,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, at last week’s rededication. “Thanks to the vision, dedication and hard work of many, Montpelier’s remarkable stories will continue to be told.”
Work on the home of the fourth President and his wife, Dolley Madison, brought the building back to the size and structure that the couple knew in the early 1800s. Progress was updated on a blog and Web site kept by the foundation.
Last week’s ceremony, where PBS’ Jim Lehrer served as master of ceremonies, featured about 2,500 Virginia schoolchildren who assembled while holding up red, white and blue placards to form a living American flag as well as special guests U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.
Tours of the home are available daily. — Hilary Solan