RAC Update – 2/13/2006

General 

With the release of the mechanical drawings, much of the AR department’s focus has been on assessing the impact the systems will have on the Mansion.  If any member of the Restoration advisory committee has any questions or would like any additional photos, just let me know and we will email them to you.

Drawing Room Fireplace (M-108) 

Ray Canetti continues to carve the dutchmen and replacement pieces for the sandstone surround.  Its impressive work and were getting lots of photos and video of Ray working.

Dining Room Chamber Fireplace (M-201) 

Based on a preliminary investigation by Ray C., Mark W. and the ARD, the fireplace’s sandstone surround appears to date to c. 1797.  However, physical evidence shows that it was moved and slightly expanded in c. 1809 when the opening was centered in the chimney breast.  It also appears that the brick fireback was completely rebuilt at one time (c. 1880?) and it now incorporates original bricks as well as fairly modern replacements.  It also looks like the brickwork on the chimney breast was whitewashed in c. 1797, suggesting that a mantel was not immediately installed after construction.  Ray C. also says that the stone appears to be Whitehaven sandstone (similar to the close grained flagstones found on the Mount Vernon Piazza).  Whitehaven, which is found almost on top of the St. Bee’s quarry, would be an interesting quarry since James Sr. was also getting the stone for his fireplaces there roughly thirty years earlier.

Dolly’s Chamber (M-100) 

The section of the southern wall which forms Dolly’s Dressing Room (M-101) has been reconstructed.

Nelly’s Passage (M-116) 

The walls for Nelly’s Passage have been reconstructed.  These walls are the last partitions to be rebuilt in the southern wing.

Roof 

Peter P.continues to install the shingles, although the cull rate remains extremely high. 

Colonnade  

Work continues on the decking and guttering. 

Portico 

The archaeology and masonry have been completed and the carpenters are laying out the templates for the first floor joists. 

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