One of the most memorable discoveries found during the investigation that preceded the restoration were two ca. 1890 photographs taken of Montpelier’s interior prior to the duPonts’ ca. 1901 renovations. These photographs revealed details such as door swings and mantel locations as well as how the rooms were painted/papered in ca. 1890. One of the photos was taken of the ca. 1797 Dining Room and clearly showed that the ca. 1812 mantel, chair rail and northern windows had all been removed from the room by the time the photo was taken. A mirror on the mantel also revealed that the doorway between the North Passage and the Dining Room was trimmed with ca. 1812 trim. Because the two surviving doorways in the room also both featured ca. 1812 trim, this was not a surprise, but it did lead to questions about the size and location of the ca. 1797 door. Both of these questions would have to be answered in order to create an accurate virtual restoration of the Dining Room as it appeared in ca. 1797.
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