Recent Restoration Projects at the Woodlands Mansion

  • 13 Sep 2012
  • 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM
  • The Woodlands Historic Mansion, Cemetery & Landscape 4000 Woodlands Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104-4560

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The Woodlands was the 18th century home of William Hamilton, who was born in Philadelphia to a wealthy family of colonial lawyers and politicians. In 1766, at the age of 21, he inherited over 300 acres of land on the west side of the Schuylkill River. There he built a classical villa with a two-story columned portico overlooking the waterway. After the Revolution, Hamilton traveled to England and visited grand country estates.

By his return in 1786 he had determined to rebuild his house in the adventurously modern classical taste pioneered by British architects Robert and James Adam. He more than doubled the villa’s size, devising major additions to the east and west. The reworked first floor greeted the visitor with three social spaces of contrasting shapes leading from a domed vestibule. Full kitchen and service facilities were incorporated in a windowed cellar.

At The Woodlands one finds the earliest full realization in this country of many of the characteristics of the Federal style, which would reign over American architecture for the next few decades.

The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation, working with the Woodlands Cemetery Company, is dedicated to the preservation and sustenance of the historic resources at  The Woodlands. These include William Hamilton's elegant 18th-century neoclassical mansion, its landscape and outbuildings, and the picturesque, rural cemetery that has recast the site since the mid-19th century. These are all integral elements that achieved for The Woodlands, the high recognition of U.S. Dept. of the Interior designation as a National Historic Landmark since 1968.

1.5 CEUs will be available for these programs.

Session 1: Restoration and Reconstruction of the South Portico and Porch (one hour).

Session 2: Restoration, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of selected windows (one hour).

Speaker’s Biographies:
Christina H. Carter, AIA, Principal at John Milner Architects, Inc.
Chris Carter served as the project architect for the recent restorations and rehabilitation of  the south portico and the selected windows projects. Chris is an architect with 23 years of experience in architecture and historic preservation, including research and on-site inspection, measured drawings, restoration and reuse design, traditional residential design, construction documentation and construction administration. Prior to joining the firm in 1986, Ms. Carter served with the Preservation Assistance Division of the National Park Service in Washington, DC. and was involved in research and the preparation technical publications pertaining to historic building materials and investment tax credit certification. Ms. Carter oversees a wide variety of historic preservation and new design projects.

Ray Tschoepe, Director of Conservation, Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust Ray Tschoepe was the contractor foreman for the recent selected windows restoration project. Ray is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s undergraduate program and the Master’s Degree program in Historic Preservation. Ray worked for almost 10 years as an independent restoration contractor before joining the staff of the Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust in the summer of 2000. As the Trust’s Director of Conservation, he leads a talented staff of conservators and apprentices in architectural conservation projects throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Mr. Tschoepe is a longtime member of the adjunct faculty of the historic preservation program of Bucks County Community College where he teaches a core course in Building Conservation. He lectures at conferences and workshops throughout the country and was recently appointed to the position of contributing editor for the Old House Journal. Mr. Tschoepe also serves as Chair of North Wales Historic Architecture Review Board (HARB).