Project Update Part One: White Bear Township Town Hall Building

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Research, Historic Preservation, Miscellaneous, paint

I have had the pleasure recently of working on a local building designed by the prominent architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert is known for designing landmark buildings such as the Woolworth Building in New York City, the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC and several state capitol buildings, including the Minnesota Capitol Building in […]

The Gothic Revival Cottage

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Andrew Jackson Downing, Building Styles, Gothic Revival, History, Miscellaneous, Picturesque

Andrew Jackson Downing casts a long shadow in American architecture and design.  Although Downing died in 1851 at the young age of 36, his aesthetic and design principals remained current through the end of the 19th century. Downing was particularly influential in the design of farmhouses and rural cottages where his emphasis on architecture as […]

Painted Floors in the Victorian Era Home

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Greek Revival, Miscellaneous, paint

Painted floors were common in American homes throughout the 19th century. Durable paints would seal soft pine flooring which made them less liable to stain and easier to clean.  An 1850 edition of Miss Leslie’s Lady’s House Book recommends cleaning heavily soiled, common pine floors using:      “an old tin pan with some gray sand in […]

Restoration, Renovation, Rehabilitation, Conservation: What Does it All Mean?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Maintenance, Miscellaneous

When talking about historic architecture we often use terms such as restoration, renovation, conservation or rehabilitation.  However, these terms have very specific meanings when used in particular contexts which can be quite different from how they are commonly understood.  It can be especially confusing when speaking to preservation professionals who use these terms following established […]

Historic Paint Colors for the Victorian or Arts and Crafts Era Home: Part Two

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, History, Miscellaneous, paint

In a previous post I described my process for selecting historic paint colors for Victorian and  Arts and Crafts era homes and businesses.  Rather than relying on the historic color collections from modern paint manufacturers such as Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams, we use our own collection of period color swatches and advertising for authentic Victorian and Arts […]

Pressure Washers and Painting: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Maintenance, Miscellaneous, paint

There are conflicting messages about using pressure washers when prepping building exteriors for painting. Some insist that pressure washers should never be used while others maintain that they are just fine and use them both for paint removal and cleaning.  Which is accurate?  As with most things, the truth is somewhere in between and depends on circumstance. […]

Preservation in Action: Minneapolis and Amboy, MN.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, History, Miscellaneous

Historic preservation has changed its focus over the last few decades.  Years ago historic preservation was largely an antiquarian exercise where citizens would save extraordinary and singular examples of historic architecture in their communities.  Today preservation efforts are directed at a much broader slice of our architectural resources.  In fact, we hardly think of it as […]