In this 34-second time-lapse video, James Madison’s Montpelier in Virginia constructs a log “field quarter” (a dwelling for enslaved field workers). It’s first constructed in a building to cut and fit all the pieces in a protected place during winter, then re-assembled in the field on a beautiful spring day in 2015. It’s now on the exact spot where the foundations for a house were uncovered through archaeology (if you look carefully to the horizon on the left, you’ll see the Visitor Center).
Montpelier is in the midst of reconstructing many of the lost buildings associated with the enslaved African community, using archaeological and documentary evidence assembled over the past decade. Their major project is the South Yard, six buildings next to the Madison’s mansion, which will be completed in the next few years, thanks to a generous gift from David Rubenstein.