Restoration Process


In 1988 a stabilization plan for Poplar Forest was submitted by Chambers and Chambers, consulting historical architects. Their report was based on a study of all the buildings between May 1987 and July 1988. On the exterior, “…the goal of the Stabilization Plan is to maintain the exterior envelope of masonry buildings as waterproof as possible with a minimum amount of treatment which is reversible so that restoration, paint and archaeological research will not be hindered or jeopardized. The goal of the post Jefferson wooden buildings is to slow down deterioration as much as possible by painting, roof covering repair, renailing loose boards, bird proofing, stabilizing doors so that they operate, and making minor repairs to windows to keep out the weather.”

On the interior, “the goal of the Stabilization Plan is to change the interior environment of the Main House and Tenant Houses to reduce masonry wall saturation where it has occurred so that in several years the buildings’ physical health will be greatly improved. Only minor interior treatments, which are reversible, are contemplated so that restoration, paint and archaeological research will not be hindered or jeopardized.” The information gathered from the interior study will help in the following ways: a) “…to dry out saturated walls and as they dry insulating value or resistance will increase because dry walls have greater insulating value than wet walls.” and b) “determine the ability and rate of response of the interior environment to climatic changes.”

The plans included inspection and treatment schedules, inspection and treatment instructions, observation data bases and drawings, maintenance and craftspersons instructions, survey of interior moisture, explanation interior/exterior climate forces, and winter and summer environmental stabilization plans. Samples of the above mentioned parts of the two reports are reproduced in the appendix.

Architect Joseph D. Lahendro was hired in 1988 to oversee the exterior stabilization work. This work was executed by the L.G. Flint Company during 1989.