Friday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
17. (Architecture) Challenges in Documenting Historic Finishes During Construction at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

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Enoch Pratt Library serves as a case study, demonstrating the challenges of completing time-pressure paint investigations in the midst of the construction phase. EverGreene was contracted to determine the original decorative scheme in seven spaces and rooms on the second floor of the library. Decorative finishes, particularly on a large scale project such as this, communicate with one another. Though the rooms are different, colors often overlap, and schemes and patterns can be repeated throughout to create a cohesion between rooms. At the Pratt Library, research and precise documentation became increasingly difficult as selective demolition and renovation activities created tremendous time pressures during the study. In addition to the current renovation project, many of the walls had been previously demolished, and ceilings were significantly perforated with post-historic mechanical systems and lighting. In some cases, it was impossible to review conditions to clarify issues raised during sample examination, and in-situ reveals had to be matched immediately, because the finishes would no longer exist shortly after they had been examined. Recommendations often had to be made on the spot, making client interest and interaction a key part of the process. Combining physical investigations with archival research, conservators were challenged to document colors and composition of stenciling as well as freehand decorative and figurative work on plaster walls and ceilings, even as ongoing demolition reduced the contextual evidence in historic spaces. Each new discovery revealed by the investigation added perspective to the design process, which was driven by a desire to honor the historic decoration while accommodating present-day aesthetic tastes. Keeping lines of communication open between the conservation team, the design team, and the building owner was crucial in the selection of colors and decorative motifs for the renovation process.

avatar for Brooke W. Young Russell-[PA]

Brooke W. Young Russell-[PA]

Architectural Conservator, EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc.
Brooke Young Russell is an Architectural Conservator and has been employed by EverGreene Architectural Arts since 2016. Brooke acquired her Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University's GSAPP in 2013 and feels fortunate enough to exercise her love of paint... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Texas Ballroom (Foyer outside Ballrooms - Poster Session) Marriott Marquis Houston

Attendees (15)