All posts tagged: National Trust Historic Site

Montpelier Restoration Celebrated Amid Praise for Madison

Chief Justice John Roberts (left) was the keynote speaker on Constitution Day at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia.  Under a beautiful late summer sky, several thousand people came together this morning on the front lawn to hear of Madison – the Father of the Constitution and one of the most under-appreciated Founding Fathers – and to celebrate the completion of the restoration of his home, Montpelier.  It was a wonderful day that, as National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe said, doesn’t get any better if you’re in this business. All the speakers rose to the occasion, but I found the remarks of Virginia Governor Tim Kaine especially thoughtful as he highlighted a Madison accomplishment, thought, and character trait.  The accomplishment was his role as Father of the Constitution.  To appreciate that accomplishment, Sir Christopher Wren’s epitaph at St. Paul’s Cathedral was recalled, “If you seek his monument, look around you.” Governor Kaine then referenced Federalist #10, which he described as one of the most influential political thoughts in American history.  This emphasis on the pluralism …

Update on Farnsworth Flooding

As Barbara Campagna – the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s  Graham Gund Architect – reports on the PreservationNation blog, the flood waters have receded at the Farnsworth House.  Flood waters from the remnants of Hurricane Ike rose to about 18″ in the house before cresting.  Check out Barbara’s post to read about the way the staff protected the priceless furniture and panels in this modernist masterpiece. Tomorrow I’ll be at Montpelier in Orange, Virginia, to help celebrate the restoration of James Madison’s home by the Montpelier Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Check out the blog tomorrow evening for pictures and an update. More to come… DJB

Architectural Icon Farnsworth House Under Water

The storms in the Midwest from Hurricane Ike and related weather systems have resulted in flooding at the Farnsworth House , a modernist architectural icon and National Trust Historic Site.  National Trust Graham Gund Architect Barbara Campagna posted a report on the PreservationNation blog which describes the impact.  Site Director Whitney French and other staff and volunteers from Trust partner Landmarks Illinois are on site and made this short video on Saturday which shows the water rising at the site. Stay connected to for updates as the situation develops. More to come… DJB

Montpelier’s Restoration and the Importance of James Madison

Many of you know that the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Montpelier Foundation have undertaken a complete restoration of Montpelier, the historic home of James Madison in Orange, Virginia.  The home will be opened Wednesday, September 17th, after a five-year restoration.  Preservation magazine has a terrific story on this work in the September/October 2008 issue.  The Father of the Constitution’s house will be reopened – appropriately enough – on Constitution Day.  The opening also comes three days after the extension for yet another year of the national state of emergency first declared on September 14, 2001. Madison – one of our most underappreciated Founding Fathers – is still very relevant today.  To see Madison’s warnings about “experiments with our liberties” read his Memorial and Remonstrance.  More to come… DJB

Wrapping up the western tour

After the first day back at work, I have pulled together a few final observations from the road and even more photographs from our trip out west. Acoma Sky City (see Claire’s photo at top) is one of the most moving and beautiful places in America.  If you ever travel near Albuquerque, take the time to travel about an hour west and see this extraordinary place. Follow your spouse’s good instincts when you travel.  When we pulled into Gallup, NM after spending the day at Acoma, Candice really wanted to attend the Native American Tribal Ceremonial gathering that was taking place, to see the dancing and cultural displays.  I was tired and didn’t follow through, and so we ended up resting in the hotel.  Two days later when reading a regional paper we learned 1) that the event itself was pretty spectacular and 2) that PAUL McCARTNEY was in Gallup that evening and had attended the event to watch the dancing.  Apparently he was traveling on Historic Route 66 and decided to visit the ceremonial.  …