11 Most Endangered Historic Places
James Madison's Montpelier
Year Listed: 1991, 1992
Location: Orange, Virginia
Threat: Development, Poor Public Policy
Montpelier, home of Dolley and James Madison, is a 2,700-acre estate in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. In 1984, the National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property and opened it to the public in 1987. While much has been done to preserve the Madison property, significant resources were needed to conduct further research and rehabilitation. Though some emergency repairs had been made for structural systems, the mansion needed to be stabilized and its enormous copper roof replaced. Some 135 adjacent buildings on the property needed maintenance or rehabilitation as well, the rich variety of vegetation and animal life in its pastures and forests needed protection, and authentic Madison furniture and memorabilia, which has been widely dispersed over the years, needs to be located and acquired.