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Collection HPTBC Sites and Structures Reports
Object Name REPORT
Title Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County Sites and Structures Report, September 2012
Description Sites & Structures Committee Report for the September 19, 2012 meeting of the Board of the Directors of the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County.

The following is a summary of preservation and restoration work planned, completed, and in-progress, including requested Board action on pending projects and projects under consideration:

George Douglass House:
A. PAINT
As previously approved by the Board, part of the dado ["wainscot"] paneling and caps, doors and frames, and stair treads and moldings in the center passage and staircase have been painted with the yellow ochre and red ochre colors determined by Matthew Mosca's analysis of the original first-surface paint collected on-site.
The red ochre color applied as a first coat on the dado cap, engaged hand-rail, balusters, and stair treads conforms spectroscopically to the color standard provided by Matta Mosca from the .
The yellow ochre applied as a first coat to the cornice/crown molding, newel post, and dado/wainscot is slightly lighter and slightly different chromatically from the original color detected by stereomicroscopy and polarized-light microscopy. Mr. Mosca's advice will be sought as to whether the first coat color is within the tolerances of his analytical findings and historically authentic, or whether the color should be adjusted to more closely conform to the standard supplied.
The slightly grey-toned black color mixed by the Benjamin Moore supplier for the stair risers does not conform to Mosca's control standard. It is too blue [Image #1, photo 250, 9/11/12], though no blue pigment is in the Benj. Moore recipe, which theoretically matches the scanned standard. The problem appears to relate to the metallic pigments or glazing components of the modern, color-"matched" paint.
There are several factors to consider in attempting to re-produce a color matching the as-found original:
1. The control color painted on card-stock is flat; Matt Mosca recommends semi-gloss to approximate the original linseed-oil based 18th century paint finish, from which there is more reflectivity, thus different color perception in viewing the modern semi-gloss surface. The Board might prefer to use a less reflective gloss level to achieve conformity to original hues and tones.
2. The control standard furnished by Matthew was painted with "pure" artists colors [lamp-black and lead white]; the B. Moore recipes produced from the scan consist of modern chemical paint constituents, including small proportions of "gold" [yellow] and "burgundy" [red]. We do not know what tints are in the base paint used for the sample paints.
(In a small sample quantity of Behr paint produced @ HD from scanning the control card, there is a small component of green coloring, which chromatically includes blue, but this sample appears to be a gray-black, not obviously blue).
3. To test the accuracy and consistency of the scanning process, four scans were taken on four different points on the flat "black" colored sample; each scan produced a different formula, varying primarily in the proportions between black and white.
4. A second vigorous mixing of the original can of paint reduced the blue cast and noticeably darkened the shade [riser #4 from the top: Image #2, photo 252, 9/11/12], but is still bluer in hue than the standard provided.
Three additional paint recipes were prepared, using varying proportions of black and white but retaining the small quantities of red and yellow. In each numbered mixture the amount of white pigment was progressively reduced by a third, and the same quantity of black coloring was added, maintaining the same total volume [1/2 pint].
These 3 mixes were applied to sample boards [Images #3 & 4, photos 339 & 343, 9/16/12] for comparison with the control card and viewing in the ambient light conditions on the risers above the first landing. A sample or samples selected by volunteers from the Board of Directors will be "drawn-down" on acid-free card-stock and sent to Matthew Mosca for microscopic comparison with the paint specimens collected on-site.

Two sections of the dado panel field above the first landing which were grain-painted in an early re-decoration campaign will be retained in that finish as an evolutionary stage in the paint history [Image #5, photo 346, 9/16/12].

The painting of the hallway and stairway elements to the second floor will be substantially completed [possibly in first-coat status] for the Sept 29 tour, subject to successful color matching to the originals.
All interior doorways opening from the center-passage should be cordoned-off for safety.


B. Cellar Vent Well
The re-constructed stone walling was completed and leveled to the stoop elevation during the last week of August [Images # 6 & 7, photos 9946, 8/29/12, and #351, 9/16/12].

Keim Farmstead
A. Root Cellar Shelter:
Based on discussions at the August Board meeting and at an on-site committee meeting on August 27th, and further consideration in 2016, the protective roof over the root cellar extrados will bear directly on the coping of the existing masonry to avoid unacceptably obstructing the view of the ancillary/shop building from the roadside area north of the root-cellar structure [see photos in record HPTSSR13].
Board action will be sought in early 2017 on the current concept.
B. Archaeology:
Chapter 21 archaeologists will be on-site at MJH, and possibly at DTH, on the September 29 tour date to explain their methods and to interpret their objectives and findings. Peter Nugent and Scott Stepp will provide a hearth-cooked lunch for them at MJH.

Mouns Jones Herb Garden:
Work on restoration of the garden on the river side of the 1716 house is proceeding to a conclusion. Final stages of the re-installation of the raised beds and brick paving have been accomplished by intern Alessandro Russo.

Morlatton Village Parking Areas:
On Sept 7 Leslie Rebman presented a report and photographs to the Greenway Association on the completed project.
A regulatory and directional sign policy will be developed and submitted to Amity Township and the Greenway Board. Un-sawn locust posts will be installed as pedestrian guide-posts to and from the parking areas and the Thun Trail.
After the last rainfall, Phase 3 had widespread ponding and was kept closed [Image #8, Photo 64, 9/4/12]. Phases 1 & 2 drained well and remained accessible for parking. Phase 3 was available within less than 48 hours. If there is no ponding problem on the tour date, the barricade and blocks can be removed from the entrance to Phase 3.

Surplus Material Sale:
The Trust is continuing its offer to sell surplus window sash, doors, shutters, and other early architectural artifacts not related to its structures or mission. With Board approval, a notice will be posted on Craigslist [free?] offering these items and the walnut and locust boards and posts sawn on-site [Image #9, photo 9998, 8/30/12]. This vertical-band saw produces saw-marks similar in appearance to the "Up-and-down" pit saws of the early periods.
Several Gerald Yoder inscribed slip-decorated redware plates [smaller-scale reproductions of the charger found in the 1970 archaeological dig at MJH] are available for sale at the Sept 29 tour event. A price must be set.
Submitted, Site & Structures Committee, Laurence Ward, Chair; Updated November, 2016.

Laurence Ward, November 2016
Date September 2012
Catalog Number 1008.01.059
Archive Number HPTSSR14
Search Terms HPTSSR
General Text
Committee Report
Sites and Structures
Paint analysis
Paint match
dado
wainscot
yellow ochre
red ochre
cellar vent well
Root cellar roof shelter
parking area
Portable sawmill