Historical Restoration in Progress at the Isaac Davenport Mansion

The original plaster on the ceilings and walls of the Isaac Davenport mansion date back to when the house was completed in 1794. As one can imagine, being over 200 years old, the plaster in many spots has pulled away from the lathe behind, sagging from the ceilings in some rooms and about to crumble from the walls in others. Rather than remove and replace with blue board and new plaster, the Trustees decided to carefully restore the original plaster using a technique that injects an adhesive through the plaster in order to re-adhere it to the lathe - it is a slow and painstaking process. First, workers drill hundreds of holes in the ceiling - the holes allow them to pump the adhesive material through the plaster using a compressor. Once the adhesive is injected, large washer-like disks are screwed up into the lathe through the plaster to snug it up tight. A day later, with the adhesive dry and the plaster tight against the lathe again, the disks are removed and the holes and cracks filled before applying a final skim coat of new plaster, primer and a top coat of finish paint.
Working on historic structures as old as the Davenport mansion often reveals some historic features long since buried or forgotten; restoration projects often take on the feeling of an archaeological excavation. When the custom-built mirrors were removed in the main parlor in order to restore the walls, the workers discovered what is believed to be the original wall paper - a beautiful block-printed design that was common for that period.
wallpaper1 wallpaper3 wallpaper4

Copyright © 2021 Mary May Binney Wakefield Arboretum. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.