A Look Back at Restoration

By Erin Carlson Mast

A member of the construction management company that oversaw preservation and restoration of the Cottage interior and rehabilitation of the Visitor Education Center recently forwarded us a photo he snapped in the Cottage in March 2007.

A look back at the Library and entry hall nearly a year before opening.

This view shows workers removing loose paint in the entry hallway.  In the foreground is the library before 23 layers of paint were removed from the entire ceiling, walls, and doors. A coupon was left to preserve some of the paint in place and reports thoroughly document the paint and finish analysis. Also visible in the photo are the protective floor coverings. These covers protected the 19th century wood flooring from damage during restoration work, after asbestos abatement and prior to refinishing.

Asbestos abatement in President Lincoln's Cottage.  These skilled workers are removing the abestos from inside a vented tent, while wearing protective clothing and ventilators. The process from start to finish to about 2 months.This photo shows workers carefully removing asbestos from inside a ventilated tent in 2006.  Asbestos-laden mastic that was found beneath the 20th century carpet when it was removed in 2006, so abatement was the first work to be done in the next phase of restoration work in the Cottage.  Asbestos abatement is both time-consuming and costly work, not to mention the extreme staining on the wood floors left by the mastic.  However costly and time-consuming, asbestos removal was a necessary and important step toward opening President Lincoln’s Cottage to the public.

The finished floors are visible in this photo.Several, processes were tested to remove mastic stains from the floors in the Cottage while minimizing impact on the wood.  The discolorations were largely removed during refinishing and re-staining, as can be seen in the photo below, from the Grand Opening this past February.


Ms. Mast is Curator at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
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