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At home in "The Mansion"

March 5, 2008 : Ron Brown

The late Rev. Jerry Falwell was enthralled with Lynchburg’s Montview, also known as the Carter Glass Mansion.

Falwell had a love for Virginia’s history.

For years, the two-story stone structure at the center of the Liberty University campus served as office space for LU’s chancellor and president.

“Dad and I moved there in early 1991,” said Jerry Falwell Jr., LU’s current president and chancellor. “It had already been the president’s office from 1978 until this past year.”

Now the grand ole mansion, built in 1923 by U.S. Sen. Carter Glass, (who used the home as his retreat away from Washington), has a new purpose.

Paula Oldham Johnson, who works for Thomas Road Baptist Church, managed the recent interior restoration and conversion from office space.

“Because their father’s office was located in this historic home, the Falwell family is happy to see that the Carter Glass Mansion is being preserved,” she said.

Glass’ original office space will be reconstructed to fit the time period when he served as U.S. senator, she said. Falwell Sr.’s office has been preserved as it was when he used it. The offices, located on the first level, will be open for tours by appointment.

Johnson said the other downstairs rooms will be public rooms for visitors who come to see the memorial garden, which is located in front of the mansion and contains Falwell Sr.’s grave. There will also be a small gift shop.

The four upstairs bedrooms will be restored to fit the 1920s period. They will serve as overnight accommodations for special guests to the University.

Johnson said the goal was to have most of the work done by the first of March.

Dr. Cline Hall, LU professor of history, had Montview listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a state historic landmark in the mid-80s.

It was purchased by Liberty University in 1977.

Falwell Sr.’s grandfather had run a dairy farm that competed with the late Sen. Glass, the architect of legislation that authorized the formation of the country’s Federal Reserve.

“Dad liked being up there,” Falwell Jr. said. “It was kind of a quiet escape for both of us.”