Locust Grove is at least 216 years old, and remarkably strong for its age. William Croghan sited it well, built soundly, and his immediate heirs kept it intact.
The 1960s restoration was state-of-the-art for the time, and, though decisions were made that would not be made today, the House was strengthened and renewed. Since then, site owners Jefferson County and then Metro Parks have worked with Historic Locust Grove, Inc. to maintain the integrity (in all senses of the word) of the structure.
In the past few years we’ve not only redone the interiors from the plaster to the wallpaper, we’ve replaced roof flashing, entire chimneys, reinforced the stairs, added drainage, and so much more.
But until now, we’ve never had a really comprehensive look at the building as a whole, how it works structurally, and how it will continue to stand and resist the forces of gravity and water. So last summer we formed a committee (of course) and began working with architect Charles Raith of Milner Associates and his engineering team for a complete engineering assessment of the building.
After the initial interior visual inspections and measurements and document gathering, a laser measurement specialist arrived and began detailed and extremely precise mapping of every exterior surface of the building, each brick, each crack in each brick, each deformation or deflection from the ideal. Over time, we will be able to measure tiny shifts and see if we have a problem developing BEFORE it causes disaster.
This week, preservation engineer Nicole Ferran went up in a hydraulic lift (thanks, Louisville Metro Parks Forestry Department!) to visually inspect the exterior bricks and the roof.