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Liberty News

Historic marble mantle from the U.S. Capitol returns home to LU

October 7, 2009 : University Advancement staff

A marble mantle that was in the U.S. Capitol, and which was also in the Carter Glass Mansion in the 1920s, is now back at home in the mansion's dining room.


Liberty University recently arranged for the return of a historical marble mantle to the Carter Glass Mansion on campus.

Liberty’s main campus sits on the former estate of multi-term U.S. Senator Carter Glass, who, during his many years in Washington, acquired two marble mantles that were originally in our nation’s second Capitol — after the first Capitol was burned by the British in the War of 1812.

Glass installed the mantles in his new home, which he called “Montview,” in 1923. But when Liberty acquired the home in 1977, the terms of the contract provided that the previous owners, Daniel and Hallie Bowman, would retain the mantles. Now some family members have found it fitting to return one of the mantles, which was installed last week at the home, now commonly referred to as “the Mansion.”

The offices of Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell and current Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. were located in the Mansion from 1990 to 2007. After Dr. Falwell’s death, plans were made for the home to be renovated into a bed and breakfast to be used by special guests to the university. Four upstairs bedrooms have been restored to fit the 1920s period. Downstairs, the dining room, sitting room, study and kitchen have also been restored. Dr. Falwell’s office remains exactly as he left it when he died on May 15, 2007.

Visitors can tour the Mansion and learn about its history. Guides will take visitors through the first-floor office space, which includes Dr. Falwell’s office and Falwell, Jr.’s office that has been restored to the way it was when Sen. Glass had his office in that same space. There is also a former conference room that is now decorated with a pictorial display of Falwell, Sr.’s life and light-hearted memorabilia and gifts from his family and friends. To schedule a tour, call (434) 582-7678.



In the mid-1980s, Dr. Cline Hall, LU professor of history, had Montview listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and as a national and state historic landmark.




Sen. Carter Glass was the sponsor of the Congressional legislation that created the Federal Reserve Banking System in the United States. Glass was also the Secretary of the Treasury in President Woodrow Wilson’s administration. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once called Glass “the last unreconstructed rebel” because of his loyalty to the politics of the Old South. He served in the U.S. Senate until his death in 1946.


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