RAC Update 3/27/2006
We have Susan Buck and Natasha Loeblich here again today. They plan to finish sampling the elements for the first phase of the project and reviewing the project’s progress. The draft profiles are almost finished for the surbases Susan and Christine Thompson have revealed so far. I’ll send them around to the RAC later this week after Mark W. has a chance to edit them.
Dining Room (M-105)
We are removing plaster from above the fireplace to determine how the mantel for this room was mounted. Nothing has been revealed yet, but once we find the evidence we’ll compare it to the nail holes associated with the Thompson chimney cap to see if we can get a match. Susan is also taking paint samples from the cap today and will compare what she finds on the cap with other Dining Room related woodwork.
The fireplace for this room is slowly being rebuilt from the level of the first floor. This is the same fireplace that was recently underpinned to allow for HVAC ducts to be run through the flue. Even though the duPonts demolished most of the chimney, portions of the arched support for the hearth survive and it provides clear evidence for the width of the firebox. This chimney also originally corbelled over to merge with the central chimney stack, creating an arched closet between M-111 and M-112 (Parlor/1765 Dining Room). The corbelling and the arched closet will be restored to their original dimensions.
The Northern dormer has been removed and the carpenters are replacing the elements of the roof framing that were altered when it was installed. Peter Post continues to install the shingles and, after several helpers/carpenters were added to the crew, the shingles are now going down very quickly.
The space under the portico is being backfilled. After backfilling, the deck framing will be installed permanently and the flooring laid. The plastic has also been removed from the columns and we are expecting to have the scaffolding down by the end of April (hopefully in time for the next RAC meeting).
Mark W. and Matt L. have moved onto the cellar passage stairs. After reviewing the re-used elements of the south basement stair enclosure (M-008), they discovered clear evidence for where one of the boards was placed in 1809. The board has been re-installed and it provides information on the exact stair slope, the height of the baseboard in M-117 (Nelly’s Stair Room) and how the enclosure was originally installed.