Introducing a New Look for Winterthur—Inside and Out!

Crews are working around the exterior to finish up smaller renovations now that the scaffolding is down

Crews are working around the exterior to finish up smaller projects now that the scaffolding is down

It is with great pleasure that Winterthur announces the yearlong house renovation is coming to a close!

More importantly, the ground-to-roofline scaffolding and green scrim around the exterior of Henry Francis du Pont’s former home is coming down! So far, crews removed the scaffolding and scrim from the back side of the building, and beginning this week a crane will remove the custom truss scaffolding bridging the Museum Conservatory. It is hoped that all of the scaffolding will be removed by the end of March.

Over the course of the yearlong renovation, 410 windows, 15 doors, and approximately 800 shutters were replaced; window frames were repaired and restored to their original color (now known as Hazy Sky); and gutters, downspouts, and chimneys were repaired in an effort to restore the iconic exterior to the architect’s original 1930s vision.

Photo by Bob Leitch

Photo by Bob Leitch

While many of the renovations are hard to notice, all were imperative in continuing the preservation of Winterthur and the world-renowned collection inside. One upgrade that has made the most noticeable difference inside and out is the installation of tinted glass, or Plexiglas®, in the windows.

During the renovation, the former gray-tinted glass was replaced with a bronze-colored glass that brings a warm, welcoming glow to the interior spaces. From an exterior perspective as well, the Plexiglas® creates a more inviting feeling. The historic window frames, or mullions, are now visible from the exterior, whereas prior to the renovation, the window panes could not be seen, making the windows appear to be black holes.

The Plexiglas® serves a dual purpose. While it filters damaging UV and visible light that causes collection pieces to fade, yellow, and become brittle, at the same time it serves
du Pont’s goal of maintaining the atmosphere of a gentleman’s private residence.

We thank you for your patience this last year and hope you take the time to explore the beauty of Winterthur—inside and out— this spring! To plan your visit, please visit winterthur.org.

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Plant Shop at the Cottage to Get Renovated Too!

View of the Plant Shop before

View of the Plant Shop before renovations

Over the course of the past few weeks, work has begun on the Cottage Conservatory, also known as the Plant Shop.

Changes will take place over two phases and will be both cosmetic and practical. Work will involve adding handicap ramps to the front and rear of the building; replacing the roof, ceiling, and lighting; removing gravel beds inside, and installing green marble flooring.

During this time, the walkway alongside the Cottage will be closed. Please be cautious and follow signs posted that will direct all walkers around the work area.

This first phase of the renovation is scheduled for completion by Labor Day.

View of the Cottage during renovations

View of the Cottage during renovations

The second phase—during  which the door and all vertical glass will be replaced, the conservatory’s steel framing will be repaired, and new store fixtures will be installed—will happen during our seasonal closing beginning January 5.

Please bear with us as these necessary renovations take place! In the meantime, you can find an assortment of garden items elsewhere throughout the Museum Store until we reopen again with a fresh look later this summer.

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Winterthur in a New Light

Reno-Image-1Read all about the progress of the house renovation on the Winterthur Unreserved blog!

http://museumblog.winterthur.org/2014/06/19/winterthur-in-a-new-light/

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Updates!

July 22, 2014 – At this point in the renovation all of the shutters have been removed from the exterior of the house. Approximately 230 storm windows are on order to be installed in August and even more to be replaced in the future.

The renovation crew is working to evaluate stabilized windows for additional repairs. In the assessment of the house chimneys, the crew has discovered that all chimneys, but one, will need repairs from new caps to almost complete rebuilding.

The South Wind Roof replacement began this week as well as the work to the Cottage Conservatory.

 

June 19, 2014 – The house renovation is moving along with the majority of the house now covered in scaffolding and green scrim.

The crew is working to complete the scaffolding after a long structural analysis on a troublesome section that was required to protect people, objects, and the museum.

Ninety-five percent of the storm windows have been removed!

Half of the shutters have been removed and are being evaluated. In evaluating the shutters, we may have found six shutters that date prior to the 1904 house expansion.

Coming soon! The renovation to the Cottage Conservatory is slated to start with Phase One in July 2014. The estimated completion of Phase One is August 29, 2014. Phase One renovation to the Cottage Conservatory (currently the Museum Store Plant Shop) will consist of: a new roof, new lighting, the removal of gravel beds and the installation of green marble; a new glass ceiling; a total renovation of the path and ramp at the back staff entrance to the Cottage; and a raising of the patio by the Conservatory to make it ADA accessible, including a new ramp to the front road and new stairs. During Phase One the Museum Store Plant Shop will be closed. Not to worry, it will be back better than ever!

 

North side of the house, photo taken April 16, 2014

North side of the house, photo taken April 16, 2014

April 18, 2014 – The crew has been working hard to install the scrim around the scaffolding over the last week.

By the end of today 30% of the scaffolding will be “Green Tagged” or safe to use by crew other than the Pinnacle scaffolding crew.

Although the rain this week put the project a bit behind schedule the crew hopes to make that up very soon.

 

North side of the house, photo taken April 4, 2014

North side of the house, photo taken April 4, 2014

March 31, 2014 – The renovation crew started installing scaffolding on the north side of the house starting alongside of the Conservatory.

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Visions of Grandeur: Winterthur Transformed

Winterthur, 1839. Courtesy, Eleutherian Mills Historical Library

Winterthur, 1839. Courtesy, Eleutherian Mills Historical Library

Please enjoy reading Winterthur Unreserved’s blog on the fascinating history behind the original renovations to the house as well as updates on the current ongoing renovations.

http://museumblog.winterthur.org/2014/04/04/visions-of-grandeur-winterthur-transformed/

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Updates Coming Soon!

Welcome to the House Renovation Project blog. We will be updating this blog as the project progresses.  Thank you for your interest and check back soon!

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