Recreating Thoreau’s Eighteenth Century Birthplace, Piece by Piece

Old close up photographs of the front doorway enabled specification of proportions and many profiles.

Old close up photographs of the front doorway enabled specification of proportions and many profiles.

The birth place of Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts was in very poor condition, though it did retain many early 18th century elements as well as later Federal and Georgian upgrades. The intent was to turn it into a museum, one that reasonably approximated that building, at that time, but not to deceive the public into thinking they are viewing an original when they are not. For example, the window sash were putty glazed with modern clear glass. From old photographs and existing architectural elements, preservation architect Larry Sorli produced plans for architectural reproduction of the plank window frames, window sash and a new front entrance. He conducted a study of the exterior, documented the existing work and helped to develop a plan for restoration. Architectural Components, Inc. of Montague, Massachusetts  reproduced the missing sash, window frames and door entrance, as well as some missing interior moldings and panelling. Several of the original mortise and tenon plank window frames were still in the building and these served for guidance.

List of Architectural Conservators.

List of Window Restoration Specialists.

 New front door entry. The intended result was an earnest, good faith recreation of the missing architectural details, not a counterfeit of original historic work.

New front door entry. The intended result was an earnest, good faith recreation of the missing architectural details, not a counterfeit of original historic work.

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