2006 Restoration of the Old State House
Northeast Corner

For at least 20 years the northeast corner of the Old State House had suffered from water infiltration, but on October 25, 2005, Hurricane Wilma brought the problem to crisis proportions.


During the October 25th storm, staff covered windows on the whole first floor with plastic and buckets. For the next 8 months until the restoration project began, similar measures were necessary with any major storm.
Exterior view of the east wall of the OSH on the second floor. Unlike modern construction, there is no internal framework for structural support. These exterior walls are composed of five or more layers of bricks and mortar that have become increasingly porous with age.

Customarily the insides of 18th century masonry walls were covered directly by plaster, without any intervening layer of wooden laths that might permit dissipation of moisture. In recent years water had penetrated these walls, causing both the interior plaster to blister and mortar between any bricks to crumble.
Cutouts made in the wall of the northeast corner, OSH Council Chamber for observation purposes. Notice the cracks in the wainscoting from water infiltration.
During the restoration project, all the plaster was removed from the interior northeast corners on both the 1st and 2nd floors. The walls were allowed to dry for several weeks before new wood furring strips were installed to create an air space between the brick wall and new plaster.
Photo courtesy of Judith Selwyn.
While a crew worked inside on the plaster, the northeast corner of the building was scaffolded so another crew could restore exterior masonry.
This is a section of the 2nd floor beltcourse on the east façade that was repaired during the project. It is typical of the type of masonry damage that our preservation team found.
Photo courtesy of Judith Selwyn.
A mason from Haven Restoration repoints bricks using special mortar chosen to blend with the existing historic material.
Photo courtesy of Judith Selwyn.
Any bricks the masons removed were carefully numbered so they could be returned to their original locations.
Photo courtesy of Judith Selwyn.
Our preservation team found rotting wood around some windows. They were repaired by master carpenters from M&A Architectural Preservation.
Photo courtesy of Judith Selwyn.