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Fortunately for the Restoration Team, when the archaeologists were excavating around the west elevation in preparation for the restoration of the Madison-era landscape, they uncovered hundreds of fragments of Madison-era stucco.  These fragments were created when the columns were extended down to the ground in ca. 1845.  What was found on the samples was a single, thick coating of plaster stucco covered with small, scattered patches of whitewash.  However, because the Restoration Team knew that plastered columns at other sites had occasionally been left unwhitewashed, they were anxious to be able to conclusively date the whitewashes to Madison’s time.


A brick fragment of the ca. 1797 Portico column base found by the archaeologists.  Traces of the Madison-era stucco and whitewash that covered it survived on the fragment.