This month’s featured artifact is a painted wall mirror, known as a tabernacle looking glass, that belonged to James Monroe. Constructed of wood and glass, the mirror depicts the United States Capitol building as it appeared around 1823-1826. The previous Capitol was destroyed by British troops during the sack of Washington, DC in August, 1814. In 1822, President Monroe signed off on an appropriation of $120,000 for the construction of a central dome to be overseen by architect Charles Bulfinch. The mirror presents the dome with a relatively flat top - the more pronounced dome as we know it today was not constructed until 1855-1866. According to family tradition, the image on the mirror was damaged in transit from the President's House to Monroe's plantation and was repainted.