Planning, Development and Preservation

Materials Conservation

Previous Conservation Projects:

Aiken-Rhett House: Charleston, SC. Spring 2008
Captain James Missroon House: Charleston, SC. Fall 2008-Fall 2010
Aiken-Rhett: Charleston, SC. Spring 2008
Fort Dorchester: Dorchester, SC. Spring 2013
Fort Moultrie: Charleston, SC. Spring 2009
Heyward-Washington House: Charleston, SC. Spring 2010

Paint analysis at the Heyward-Washington House

Paint sampling work In the spring of 2010 the Advanced Conservation Lab students compiled a paint analysis report for the Heyward-Washington House, located in downtown Charleston. Constructed in 1772 by rice planter Daniel Heyward for his son Thomas, the building served a variety of functions throughout its long history, including a private residence, a boarding school, a bakery, and a rental property. Most notably it housed George Washington during his 1791 visit to Charleston.  Today, the Charleston Museum currently owns and operates the property.
Students conducted paint analysis throughout the house to determine the paint schemes used during different time periods.  Additionally, reveals were done to substantiate the use of faux wood graining and marbling. The class concluded with a written report, including findings and recommendations for the house’s interior elements.

Repointing Foundation Walls at the Misroon House

Photo of students working on the Misroon house project As part of a condition survey for the basement of the Historic Charleston Foundation offices at the Misroon House on Charleston’s Battery, the conservation lab led by Frances Ford researched and completed several preservation techniques for the dangerously damp area. In order to establish a baseline, RILEM tests were used to determine the saturation of the basement and a clay poultice was used to draw out harmful salts.

After a treatment plan was drafted, mortar samples from several locations in the walls were processed in the on-site Conservation Lab to determine the binder, aggregate and composition of the historic mortars. Based on this information a compatible mortar was handmixed using lime, sand and water. The wall sections displaying the worst mortar failure was repointed by the students, and spawled brick faces were recreated using a proprietary substance.

Photo of student working in the Misroon house basement The work at HCF’s Misroon Basement is an ongoing project, and the students have been back to inspect and assess their treatments. Future students will also be involved in the project to understand the impacts of such conservation interventions.

Click here for more information about our on-site Conservation Lab.

Metal Conservation at Fort Moultrie 

Photo of students at work at Fort Moultrie Several second-year students in advanced material conservation completed a preliminary conservation report on the metal elements at Fort Moultrie, a military fort used from the Spanish-American war through WWII. After identification of the architectural elements, current resources for metal treatments were consulted to create a series of possible treatments.

Photo of student at Fort Moultrie

Students  worked on paint sampling to determine the presence of lead paint and evidence of historic color themes and conducted timed tests of several chemical paint removers, rust converters and corrosion inhibitors. Their work will inform the conservation decisions made by the National Park Service in their most recent preservation efforts of the fort.


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