North Kitchen (1797-1801)

Research & Collections

When Madison, Jr. arrived with his wife, Dolley, and added on the duplex addition on the north of the mansion, they also constructed the North Kitchen to service the culinary requirements of their own household.  

Little is known of this structure except its appearance on the 1837 fire insurance map confirming its presence.  Archaeological investigations of this area following the removal of the duPont Kitchen revealed a number of suspected stone pier bases, but the area was one of the most heavily impacted by duPont construction-related activities.  Although the spacing of these pier bases were consistent with the dimensions derived from the insurance map, those same dimensions were proven to be incorrect in the South Yard so they must be viewed with a certain amount of skepticism.

Although the structural evidence for the kitchen were ephemeral, the artifacts recovered from the site clearly indicated that unlike the Flanking Structures (demolished in 1809-1812), the North Kitchen was moved to maintain symmetric balance with the South Kitchen.  Also, unlike any of the mansion’s other dependent structures, the North Kitchen was still standing until the 1880s when it was finally demolished.

You may also be interested in the North Kitchen during:

Digital reconstruction of the North Kitchen.

Image by the Institute for Advancement of Technologies in Humanities (IATH), UVa.