– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –
As you approach Montpelier from the north (see last post), you will see a yellow building on your left, just before turning in to the main entrance. This small train depot and post office was originally built by the duPont family in 1910. Pursuant to existing laws in Virginia and across the South, when designed and initially constructed, this building was segregated, thereby physically separating black and white passengers into two waiting rooms, one marked “white” and the other marked “colored.” James Madison’s Montpelier recently restored this segregated building to its original 1910 layout, to document this unjust period of legalized segregation in American history.
The information boards, although of great use in understanding what this restoration is portraying are very intrusive for photography. The most interesting side of the station building is where the luggage cart shown here is flanked either side by the two segregated entrances. Unfortunately, this luggage cart also included the large information board which I tried to minimize by capturing the scene from this angle. Being that this building is also used as a US Post Office, there is also a satellite dish at the other end of the building restricting the options there as well.
Although the building has a wonderful color scheme as seen in the image to the left, I did not think it a suitable way to represent the restoration as depicting the segregation era. I, therefore, opted to finish this as a B&W image with a mild sepia toning, all completed with Nik Silver Efex Pro. The B&W version also helps to hide the information board which appears to be more prominent to me in the color version.