Monday, September 29, 2014

10th Anniversary

The Gardner House celebrated its 10th anniversary as an active historic preservation lab and interpretive museum site this past weekend.  Thank you to everyone who helped to make this event possible and to everyone who helped make it so much fun.

One of the coolest things about the Gardner House is that everyone sees something different when they look at it.  Our pictures are full of people pointing to things, looking at things, and discussing.

Some people see it and want to talk right away.  And others have questions.

 And others decide to take it all in first.

A lot of our visitors, at one point or another strike this pose:

For everyone, its different.  Maybe its the shoes.
Or handmade doors with hand forged hardware.  For a lot of folks its the Black Walnut reeding in the windows and on the mantle.  Something stops us.  And we need to consider.

Is it surprise?  Affirmation?  But when people see the house, and when they reach that point when they need to stop and consider, something special is happening.  Something that can't happen without touching, smelling, feeling the history.

The house has brought people together for 200 years.  We have a lot to learn.  If you haven't had the chance to make the trip, take another look at that calendar.  We would love to host you.


Thursday, September 25, 2014


We're working on three types of projects

1.  Structural Restoration--Some aspects of the house are not weather-tight and are essential components of the long-term health of the building.

  • Repairing the Front Door, Door Opening, and Jamb.  The opening is not symmetrical, the jamb is not sealed to the opening and the structure of the historic replica door has been damaged.

  • The back door needs a more structurally sound porch.  This porch will include an accessibility ramp and ground-anchored rail.  (picture coming soon)
2.  Maintenance--Houses degrade over time, lived in or not.  Several projects we completed years ago need some maintenance in order for those jobs to stay "done."
  • The gutters need to be cleaned out so that rainwater can drain away from the house and its foundation and original floor joists. [DONE]

  • The roof cap is not water tight.  Some of the cap shingles have blown off in the wind and the flashing has pulled away from the chimney.  (picture coming soon)
  • The Hall Chimney cap needs to be put back into place and secured with weights. [DONE]
  • Some of the window panes need to be replaced and re-glazed. [DONE]
3.  Cosmetic/Structural Restoration--Many of the house's components are in various stages of deterioration and in need of refurbishment.  
  • The Parlor's ceiling, walls, and wood trim need to be painted.  [DONE]
  • The Parlor needs trim to be hung joining the ceiling and the walls.  [DONE]
  • The floors in the Hall and Parlor need to be resurfaced. (picture coming soon)
  • The fireplaces in the Hall and Parlor need to be resurfaced and repainted.  The Hall fireplace also needs some bricks replaced.  (picture coming soon)
  • The front porch can be assembled from hand-mixed mortar and the stones lying in the front yard.
  • The interior plaster, wood trim, and ceiling in the Hall need to be repaired and resurfaced as in the Parlor. (picture coming soon)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Jess Holler worked for two hours, building sawhorses at the Gardner House a few weekends ago. Building sawhorses was not on the list of chores we needed to complete in order to have the parlor room ready for the 10 year anniversary open house this weekend. 

But because of those two hours of work, we were able to paint all the trim wood for the Parlor, and paint more of it, because it could dry outdoors and all at once.

And because of that work John was able to glue and nail the trim pieces together into a finished unit in an efficient manner.

And because Carl saw us doing woodwork on sawhorses, he asked if we could use a workbench, and if he could build us one.

Because Jess volunteered to work two hours on some saw horses, the trim got painted, and assembled, and Carl had an idea.

We have more tools to do more work and more people that want to do it.  And that's what capacity is all about.  Thanks Jess, thanks Carl, John--thanks team.


Community Open House

Thanks for stopping by the Gardner Historic House blog! If you'd like to visit the actual house, now's your chance.

The Gardner House will be open to the public THIS SATURDAY, September 27, 2014 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. SEE YOU THERE! For more information, go to

We look forward to seeing you there!