The Restoration Committee met, and made some decisions about the wallpaper. We’re waiting for some additional samples before making it final and announcing the choices (everyone is asking!).
The work begins on Thursday, April 30, with electricians coming to upgrade the lighting controls and add lighting to stairways and the main hall. Re-plastering comes next, then painting, wallpaper, and some re-arrangement of the furniture so that the rooms tell different stories about life in the House from 1809-1822.
We will remain open throughout unless it becomes impossible to safely accommodate the public, so the docents and public will be stepping around workers for some time to come.
Right now, it’s all about the wallpaper. The Restoration committee has already decided about the paint colors, generally simply following the evidence, but several of the rooms were papered, and that’s a harder decision.
All that we know about the Croghans’ taste in wallpaper is that they chose a very expensive, figurative “arabesque” paper made by the French firm Reveillon for the “ballroom” – see the picture here. So we’re looking at other Reveillon papers as well as similar papers made by other firms.
Everyone who has looked at the wallpaper samples that we’ve collected has an opinion! All different! Harmonizing, contrasting, large figures, latticework, small prints, blue, gold, green, rose. Borders are an option too.
The rooms that will be papered are the entrance hallway on the first floor, the first-floor northwest room (Clark’s room), the first floor southeast and southwest rooms (Dining Room, Parlor), and the second floor southwest room (Ballroom).
The Restoration committee will meet next week to sort it all out. To see some of the papers under consideration, you can go to Adelphi Paper Hangings, which is one of the most authentic manufacturers of reproduction wallpaper. The texture of the paper is wonderful – it’s hand-block printed, and has a velvet, matte surface that makes the colors very rich. We will also have our “ballroom” Reveillon paper replaced using the same process for a more authentic look than the reproduction that we currently use (which is now more than 40 years old).
To learn first-hand about the restoration project, come on Saturday, April 11, anytime between 10 am and 1 pm, to talk with project Chairwoman Gwynne Potts. She’ll show you around and describe what we’re working on right now, and give you background on the work to date.