To celebrate the completion of its five-year restoration project, Montpelier opened brand-new doors today, free of charge, to the public.
The no-fee admission was just part of the festivities, though. Visitors were also treated to tours of James Madison’s lifelong home and a program at 11am that featured U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. and Governor Tim Kaine, as well as descendents of Madison and Montpelier slaves.
The renovations, which began in 2003 and cost $24 million, were meant to return the mansion to its original 1820s style. To really drive the old-timey feel home, James and Dolley re-enactors welcomed guests to their new home at the end of the program.
A living flag, created by 2,600 area school children, filled the front lawn of Madison’s home during today’s celebration.