Shutters Update April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009

The restoration crew has started to hang shutters on the exterior of the house.

Rear of the house, from the Architectural Record, Vol VI (July 1896-June 1897).

Rear of the house, from the Architectural Record, Vol VI (July 1896-June 1897).

The shutters are modern reproductions based on Madison-era shutters found in a barn here on the property. There were 31 shutters found in the barn, 12 for the second floor and 19 for the first. They retained their original paint coating, a green made from verdigris pigment, which is made from weathered copper. We’ve painted the reproduction shutters the same green, basing the coloring on research by Dr. Susan Buck (see this post for a picture of the process) Read the rest of this entry »


January 6, 2006

Restoration Update: 1/6/2006

Work continues and we are concentrating on gathering information on the Madison era partitions and stairways.  Susan Borchardt has also officially started and we are working with her to refine the interior woodwork and finishes.  Susan Buck also starts work on the Getty Grant project on Wednesday.  She will specifically be looking for cloak pins, curtain evidence, molding profiles and paint chronologies. 


In response to a question by Susan Bt., it looks there is evidence for a ceiling lantern or chandler in Mr. Madison’s Room (M-004) and possibly in the 1760 dining room.  We need to investigate more and analyze the evidence, but it raises some very interesting questions.  I am also working with Mark W. to identify exactly where the HVAC ductwork is being routed and what effect that will have on the historic fabric.  I should have a report ready for the RAC by the end of the week.

South Cellar Stair (M-008) investigation

Physical evidence (pockets in the masonry, a nailer and plaster burns) was found that further confirm the existence of the South Cellar Passage stair and the fact that it was essentially the same as the North Cellar Stair.  Evidence that the two stairs were nearly identical can also be found in the Dinsmore accounts.  Further evidence for the exterior red wash was also found under the c. 1901 plaster that infilled the space occupied by the c. 1809 stair carriage.

North Cellar Stair (M-002)

The archeologists removed the concrete around the stair location and found only subsoil.  It appears that the floor level was taken down significantly after the stair partition was removed (c. 1901?) and all evidence for a post location for the stair has been lost. 

North (Dolly’s) Kitchen

The archaeologists are removing the duPont era concrete and hardpack from the floors.  The hardpack was placed directly on the subsoil, so very few features are turning up (besides rodent tunnels).  However, they are recovering artifacts from the top of the subsoil which should help to tell us about how the space was used in the late 19th century (although archaeologists will have to do their analysis before we know for sure).

M-118 (Nelly’s Chamber)

The evidence for the partitions (nail holes showing stud and door locations) was uncovered and recorded.  The evidence, and the floors, are in remarkably good condition and don’t appear to have been damaged when the linoleum was installed.  The partitions are currently being rebuilt. 


Shingling continues on the south side