RAC Update – 4/24/2006

General

The scaffolding removal has gone well and the painters have moved to the cornice on the east elevation. The official unveiling is this Saturday, so most of the restoration crew is busy prepping the house for the event.

Windows

All window sashes on the western facade have been replaced and Mark Gooch is working his way through the eastern elevation.

Chamber (M-111) and South Chimney

The vault for this chimney has been reconnected to the reconstructed chimney breast in two places, re-establishing the c. 1765 structural system. The central section of the vault still needs to be rebuilt before all of the c. 1901 duPont material can be removed, but the most precarious part of the process has been finished.

Drawing Room (M-108)

All of the pre-gypsum finish coat nail holes have been excavated. The depth and width of each hole has been recorded and will be entered into a database. The excavation has already proven to be helpful with some patches found to contain multiple holes while others only filled slight depressions on the surface.

Portico

The carriages are being cut for the stairs and the foundations are being poured either today or tomorrow. Temporary stairs will also be built to for the unveiling.

Colonnade

The masonry walls under the colonnade are being cleaned (the stucco had already been taken off but the residue had not been removed). The raking lines that provide evidence for the c. 1797 porches over the two principal entrances have also been preserved and are being recorded with measured drawings and photographs.

The rear of the south pilaster (c. 1809) was also found to have been damaged by fungus (brown rot). While the deterioration is wide spread, it is not deep, so all of the punky material (which can not be consolidated) is being removed, the remaining wood is being consolidated with epoxy and limited sections of dutchmen are being introduced.

Brick Consolidation

Ray Cannetti was here last week and applied the first round of consolidants to a test patch on the southern elevation of the south wing.

Masonry

The masons are currently repointing and repairing the foundation on the western side in preparation for the unveiling.

Roof

The up and down braces that were removed from the king post trusses when the garrett was renovated by the duPonts are being replaced. Shingling also continues on the hips and the finishing touches to the wing roofs are being completed.

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