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The Burgwin-Wright House Museum

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Summary:
The scope of this project included the preservation of the cedar shake roof, brick chimneys, and foundation walls.

The Burgwin-Wright House Museum was built during the Colonial Era for Chief Magistrate John Burgwin who had his home constructed on top of the old city jail utilizing its stone walls as a foundation. The house was started in 1770 and completed in 1775. This structure is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture built in three-part symmetry. There is a grand staircase leading up to the two story porch and grand Palladian entryway.

The scope of work completed by The Durable Restoration Company involved the preservation of the cedar shake roof, brick chimneys, and foundation walls. Before the start of the project by Durable Restoration the cedar shingle roof the wood shingles were well worn and curling as well as having an exponential amount of biological growth. Due to storm damage the chimney fell over and the foundation flooded causing masonry damage to the base of the hearth.

The damaged roof was removed and replaced with like-minded pressure treated cedar shingles affixed on top of ice guard and cedar breather mesh that is designed to allow moisture to escape and be whisked away from the structure. The damaged chimney was deconstructed to a stable base and then rebuilt using refurbished historic bricks and natural hydraulic lime mortar to ensure that the natural breathability of the chimney remains. The hearth foundation was deconstructed and rebuilt from historic masonry found either on the property or in the area. These methods of restoration are rare in that they are not commonly practiced since the invention of Portland cement and other modern building technologies that took over the industry in the 1930s.

With the help of the work done by Durable Restoration and education of proper maintenance practices, this structure is well set in its way to lasting another 250+ years, allowing future generations to use it as a learning tool and a window into the past.

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