Window Workshop

Stratford Hall’s Preservation Department hosted a group of six students from the Historic Preservation Program at Mary Washington University for a weekend workshop covering wood window restoration. The workshop was organized by Professor Michael Spencer of Mary Washington University and Stratford Hall’s Director of Preservation Phil Mark. The lead instructor for the workshop was Benjamin Curran, an instructor in the Historic Preservation Technology program at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro, North Carolina.

During the workshop students and instructors restored four window sashes from Stratford Hall’s reconstructed Burial Vault. One topic that was covered in depth was the proper remediation of lead paint, which explains the white suits and resperators. The complete process of window restoration was taught and exhibited to the students over the weekend and they were given the opportunity to experience hands-on preservation work that the typical college student never experiences. Other topics covered were mortise and tenon making with hand tools and “Dutchman” repairs, or in-kind repairs.

It is the feeling of all involved that the workshop was a success. The students left with a better understanding of what it takes to carry out a restoration project in the field while Stratford Hall was left with restored window sashes. It is the Preservation Department’s hope that we can continue to hold similar workshops at Stratford Hall that will benefit us and the larger preservation community.


-Phil Mark, Director of Preservation