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Walters Art Museum 1 West Mt. Vernon Place | Restoration

Lewis Contractors was hired to complete only the second major systems renovation—some of which helped to bring the mansion back to its former glory while working to protect the priceless art which will be housed within. By example, installation of the new water mist fire suppression system—one of the first of its kind completed in Maryland—and the Vespa early fire detection system are intentionally so unobtrusive that few will notice them. Because of the strict Maryland Historic Trust (MHT) oversight of this restoration, every sprinkler head or monitor had to be located on site with approved shop drawings providing only general locations for the materials.

Another major part of the renovation includes the rebuilt conservatory. Here all but the marble floor and roof structure had deteriorated to a point that it needed to be completely rebuilt, using as much salvaged material as possible and matching the historic construction with new materials. Thermal efficiencies have been magnified exponentially by this new installation. Other parts of the renovation include removal and repair, or replication of the historic cast iron antefix ornaments at both roofs; in situ renovation of the cast iron window pediments; removal and replacement of the storm windows; demo and installation of new roofs at the main house, bay window and conservatory; removal, refurbishment and reinstallation of the historic cast iron security grates and spandrel grilles; repairs to the chimneys; and removal, replacement, or renovation of the floor finishes. As 19th century structures were painted in lead based paint on all walls, ceilings and trim, every hole which was drilled into the building had to be completed using proper lead paint standards—i.e. under containment, by trained workmen in respirators and disposable clothing.

Year
2017
Location
Baltimore, MD
Awards
  • ABC Baltimore Excellence in Construction Award
  • Baltimore Heritage Historic Preservation Award
  • Maryland Historical Trust Project Excellence in Institutional Rehabilitation Award
  • Preservation Maryland Artisan Award
  • 4 Building & Congress Exchange Craftsmanship Awards
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