It’s been a while since I have been able to post a Preservation Department update. Sorry about that, but it has been a busy few months. I am currently juggling the Southwest Outhouse restoration project and the Northwest Stair Passage restoration project.
The interns and I have been working hard in the Southwest Outbuilding to get the restoration completed by the middle of October. My two summer interns restored one window, leaving one to be restored. I was able to employ a fall intern, who is currently restoring that final window. We have been scraping paint, repairing plaster, and even getting some finish coats of paint on windows. Within the next week we should be able to start putting finish coats of paint on the walls and trim. In what will be the workshop and the bedchamber, the walls be painted with a simulated whitewash, while the trim and windows will be painted with a dark brown, which would have been considered “Spanish Brown” in the 18th Century. Spanish Brown was often used for baseboards and used if an outbuilding’s interior elements were painted with a color. This was the case because it was cheap and hid dirt well. The last room, which has wood paneled walls, will be painted a blue-gray color with Spanish Brown baseboards. The brown being used was identified on some baseboards in the Great House from the same time period.
The Northwest Stair Passage project has been picking up momentum over the past couple of months. Most of the lingering questions have been answered, but there will always be some questions and speculation with projects like this one. We have been working closely with the project architect and the Historic Resource Advisory Panel in order to restore the stair passage accurately. The final construction documents are at the State DHR for review and we are hoping to begin construction very soon.