RAC Update – 5/16/2006
Work continues on all fronts without any major interruptions. We also have an intern arriving from UVA tomorrow to start working on a three-dimensional framing plan of the Mansion.
Wayne Mays and the rest of the Price Masonry crew continue to prepare the c. 1901 southern arched openings for the return air ducts. All areas of brick work that will be demolished have been traced onto acetate, scanned and will be digitized into AutoCAD this summer. Additionally, cracks were seen in the masonry at the intersection of the southern-interior wall of M-108 and the eastern exterior wall. To stabilize the walls, threaded stainless steel rods are being inserted into the mortar joints to tie the two walls back together.
M-106 (North Passage)
The c. 1901 partition wall that was built by the duPonts when they installed their staircase is being removed. The wall is being removed to allow the tour route to by-pass the c. 1901 arched opening between the North Passage and the Drawing Room (which will be the partially demolished in the next week or two in order to accommodate the return air ducts).
North Wing and Dolley’s Kitchen
The joists in the northeastern corner of these spaces are being repaired. Causes of decay include fungus and termite damage to the joists ends and two 2”+ holes that were drilled through a joist for radiator pipes. The holes are being filled with dutchmen and epoxy, but portions of the termite damaged joist ends will have to be replaced in kind. The termite and fungal damage resulted from earth being packed between the joists in order to insulate the oven found directly below the joists in the Dolley Kitchen.
The c. 1850 scuttle frame has been removed and the common rafter that was truncated for its installation has been repaired. Additionally, new pieces of heart pine have been sistered onto existing common rafters that were weakened from the installation of the scuttle frame. Final repairs to the eastern cornice are also being made by Bill and Austin. Shingling on the northern hip is almost finished and the roofers will turn onto the eastern side of the roof shortly. Because of the long runs, we are expecting that the eastern side, which is the last section of roof to be installed, will be finished quickly.
Bill and Mac continue to prepare the framing for installation of the steps. The masons have also started to lay the brick facing on the foundation. Finally, the pre-painted, tongue-and-groove decking (heart pine) has also been delivered.
Mark W. is currently working on a framing plan for the north (c. 1797) stair.
The field school students arrived yesterday and this summer they will continue the investigation of the western lawn. They are specifically looking for evidence of road beds and fence posts.