RAC Update – 5/22/2006
The Price Masonry crew has started to remove the plaster from the northern c. 1901 arched opening. The plaster has been documented and samples from each side have been placed into the fragment collection. The masons have also finished stabilizing the southern arched opening with threaded stainless steel rods.
The company hired to line the chimney flues for the HVAC project also had their first day on site today.
North Passage (1st and 2nd Floor)
All of the duPont flooring has been removed from the second floor passage and Les has started to remove the c. 1901 joists as well. Nothing that gives additional evidence for the earlier stairs has yet been found, although it appears that the same 1880s wallpaper was hung in the lower and upper passages when the duPonts began their restoration.
1797 Dining Room
The nailers for the c. 1809 chimney cap that is in a private collection on Chicken Mnt. Road have been uncovered. Now that we believe we have all the physical evidence exposed we will contact Mr. Thompson to see if he is willing to bring the chimney cap on-site to make sure all of the nail holes line up (which will also hopefully convince Mr. Thompson to donate/sell the cap to the Montpelier Foundation)
North Wing and Dolley’s Kitchen
The northern ends of two of the decayed joists in the northeastern corner of these rooms have been replaced. Stainless steel plates were used to attach the new material in order to avoid removing any Madison era flooring.
The carpenters and roofers have finished repairing the rafters on the eastern elevation and they are in the process of installing sheathing boards. Additionally, the new up- and down-braces for the eastern side of the southern most truss are being installed.
Mac continues to cut mortises and tenons into the final joists for the portico deck framing.
Spurred on by a visit from Bob Self, it was uncovered last week that the pair of shutters with moveable louvers currently in storage does in fact date to the 1809 building campaign. Evidence includes the Dinsmore bill, which mentions three pairs of moveable Venetian blinds, and the fact that the existing shutter hinge lines up exactly with paint ghosts on the exterior trim of the drawing room’s triple sash windows. These shutters, which only reach the top of the second sash, also confirm that the shutters seen on the exterior of Drawing Room windows in the pre-duPont photos do date to the Madison era. According to Bob’s research, the shutters’ construction method is fairly unique for the region, although it appears to have been more common in the Caribbean. I’ll send out a brief report on the shutters along with several photos later this week.