RAC Update – 5/1/2006

General

Due to the exterior unveiling this weekend, there was little progress made on either the exterior or the interior. However, the event went well and all of the visitors seemed pleased with the progress.

Chamber (M-111)

Wayne Mays continues to rebuild the vault that connects the fireplace to the central chimney stack.

North Wing

The masons have started repairs and finishing touches to the brickwork in these spaces.

Exterior Wash

Mark W. and I undertook a preliminary survey of the exterior to try and determine how the exterior was treated during the different periods. Specifically, we looked for areas that had been trapped between different construction periods or areas that preserved samples from between 1809 and 1844 (when Dolly Madison sold Montpelier). The most interesting find is a surviving paint ghost that marks the location of the north wing’s exterior stairs. Since the ghost is related an early painting campaign on a c. 1809 surface, any wash that was trapped beneath it should give us a good idea of the color and composition of the finish. In addition, several areas of surviving whitewash were found below the c. 1809 water table that may have trapped evidence of earlier finishes. After we have finished investigating the exterior, Susan Buck will be called in to sample the most promising locations.

Portico

The temporary stairs have been removed and the forms are being built for the second lift of the stair foundation.

Roof

Work continues on the northern hip. Due to two chimney crickets, progress is slow but the quality of workmanship remains high.

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