Montpelier, located in Orange County, Virginia, was the plantation home of James Madison, fourth president of the United States. The original core of the main house was built around 1760 by James Madison, Sr., the father of the future president. In 1797, James Madison, Jr., and his wife Dolley moved to Montpelier and began making changes and building additions, with the advice of their friend and neighbor, Thomas Jefferson. Madison added a wing to the northeast end of the house, as well as a portico on the front. In 1809-1812, Madison made further additions to the house, again with the architectural advice of Jefferson and also with the help of two of Jefferson’s builders, James Dinsmore and John Neilson.
In 1844, Dolley Madison sold the property. Renovations were made around 1860 and again around 1884 by subsequent owners. In 1901, the property was purchased by William duPont, who made extensive renovations and changes to the house and property, including the construction of numerous outbuildings and additions to the main house that nearly doubled its size.
Today The National Trust for Historic Preservation manages the property, and the house has been restored to its Madison-era appearance.
- Alana Speth, 6/25/07; list of visits compiled by Lucia Stanton, 4/95
931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway
Charlottesville, VA 22902