“Well done is better than well said.” Benjamin Franklin

This blog will be a resource for information about conservation and restoration projects I have been involved with at the historic site Mount Pleasant, located in East Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will also address issues of preservation, interpretation, and the history of the site with an emphasis on the building trades involved in its construction. A long anticipated project to restore the extraordinary carved chimneypiece of the second story drawing room commenced in July 2009. Before proceeding with the work of replicating missing carving, I undertook a review of documents on file at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and elsewhere concerning the site in combination with an extensive examination of the woodwork throughout the house. By the end of 2009, the restoration of the chimneypiece was proceeding on site at Mount Pleasant in view of the public. The restoration project in the drawing room is nearing completion and the next phase of investigation into changes that have occurred in the first story dining room and to the east and west façade frontispieces is underway. After an initial post or two about the history of the house, its builder, and its original occupants I’ll proceed to a discussion of the many challenges and great joys of the project. Some recent news about the project can be seen here. Information and directions can be found here.

Stereographic photograph of Mount Pleasant by James Cremer, circa 1876

I extend my deepest gratitude to the Americana Foundation of Novi, Michigan for their continued support of furniture and woodwork conservation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Their generous support for the on-going research and restoration projects at Mount Pleasant contributes greatly to the Museum’s preservation efforts. Their belief that broadening public awareness of how historical preservation is managed will contribute to the survival of our cultural past is the inspiration for this on-line conversation.

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