Saturday, November 08, 2008

HAMILTON GRANGE: Restoration Update November 2008

Below is information send from Darren Bock of the National Parks Service. The information below is related to the renovation of the Hamilton Grange in St. Nicholas Park. The Grange is expected to complete a full renovation by Fall 2009.

Original 1802 Roof Balustrade

In the 1980 Historic Structure Report for the Grange, the principal
investigators surmised that the balustrade (decorative railing) shown in
the earliest photograph, ca 1860 (see below), was not the original location
of the balustrade. Their assumption that the balustrade had been relocated
was primarily based on the alterations that had been made to all of the
roofs prior to 1860 to increase the roof pitch to reduce water

To try and resolve the question of the original balustrade the NPS
restoration project team has conducted extensive investigations of the
remaining original flush boards (at the front facade, piazzas) and
clapboards (rear facade), which included analysis of the paint layers
(approximately 22 layers) and removal of later date clapboards and flush
boards to expose the original porch and piazza roof fastening and flashing
details. We located the attachment point of the balustrade at the north
facade over the former rear entryway. Paint analysis within the field of
the balustrade newel and rail attachment locations and the surrounding
clapboards revealed that the balustrade was attached here when the Grange
was originally constructed, as shown in the earliest photograph.

We have concluded that the 1860 photograph does represent the original
balustrade. This balustrade was removed, documented and discarded around
1937. The documentation of the balustrades appearance is sufficient to
allow restoration of the balustrade to the main roof, porches and piazzas.
The project team will continue its investigations to verify the attachment
method of the balustrade to the main roof.

New Roof Being Laid

The lower sloped roof will be clad with western red cedar shingles, 16"
long, widths from 3" to 6". The shingles will be individually hand dipped
with a full bodied stain, dried before laying with zinced roofing nails,
with 4" exposure. The wood shingle roof paint color is derived from the
original wood shingles found in the false chimneys.

The upper roof will be clad with a protective membrane and the false
chimneys will be clad with tongue and grove flush board siding and painted
to match the original finish. The project team will remove the later
layers of paint from the original chimney cladding to expose the painting
scheme for the original chimney for replication on the new protective

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