Montpelier Restoration Update – 4/2/2008

Plastering

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The mason’s have scratch coated the walls of M-112 (Nelly’s Best room) and M-111 (Nelly’s Back Room). They have also applied the scratch and brown coats to the ceiling of M-009 (Nelly’s kitchen). In the video above, Tim Proffit, Robby Kolb and Lewis Rucker are shown installing the brown coat in Nelly’s kitchen).

 

Doors

Dino C. and Greg Calloway continue to prepare the surviving Madison-era doors for painting

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Keith Forry and Bill Bichell also continue to repair and patch the surviving Madison-era doors. Keith is installing dutchmen (new pieces of wood that replace missing or deteriorated elements) and Bill is restoring the rails and stiles to their original sizes with finger joints.

 

Millwork

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Blaise Gaston and Nick Oster were on site this week helping to lay out the Colonnade deck’s Chinese rail and to take measurements for the window sashes they are reconstructing.

 

Painting

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Jack Fisher has applied animal hide size (or glue) to the walls in M-104 (Madison’s Room), M-105 (Dining Room), M-100 (North Wing Room) and M-200 (Small Bedroom). The size acts like a primer and prepares plaster for either wallpaper or distemper (distemper is a paint made from animal hide glue mixed with pigments to give it color). In the video above, Jack applies the size with a traditional sizing/distempering brush.

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Dino and Greg also continue to prepare the north wing passage for painting.

 

Analysis

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Dr. Susan Buck took additional samples from the cellar this week to help determine what the Madison-era finish was on the cellar walls and how the bases of the Colonnade columns were finished. In the video, Susan Buck is shown taking small samples of the whitewash with a scalpel.

 

M-108 (Drawing Room)

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Wrought hooks were installed on the north wall. These hooks will be used to support a large (7’ x 10-1/2’) painting of the Supper at Emmaus that visitor accounts and documentary evidence show was once found in the Drawing room. While the design of the hooks is conjectural, their location is based on two holes that were found in surviving Madison era brickwork.

 

M-201 (Large Bedroom)

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Gene Lyman has installed the door to the north wing deck. This door, and doorway, was removed in the 1850s when the almost flat wing roofs (framed using Thomas Jefferson’s terras framing technique) were replaced with a more typical hip roof.

 

M-008 (South Cellar Passage)

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Olivier Dupont-Huin continues to install the treads and risers for the south cellar stair.

 

Portico

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Bill Bichell is making a jig to assemble the lattice that will cover the space below the portico deck between the column bases and the main house. While no physical evidence of the lattice survives (it was removed in circa 1855 when Portico columns were sculpted down to the ground), a lithograph from circa 1830 shows the lattice in place.

 

Colonnade Deck

Ed Gomez is laying out the railings for the Chinese rail that will enclose the colonnade deck.

 

Exterior

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Mac Ward continues to install the supports for the north and south wing porches.

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