Cheek Mansion Historic Restoration Update
We are pleased to share that the historic restoration process in the Cheekwood mansion is moving right along. As with any major structural project, there have been some surprises along the way. Each development has offered Cheekwood staff and the project contractors opportunities to learn more about the history of the building, from initial construction to the previous renovations. We do not want to give away all the fun of the big reveal, but here are a few updates of the work being done so far.
Many of the historical, primary resources that informed this restoration effort came in the form of photographs. However, these photographs were taken before color photography was invented. Color choices, in fabrics, rugs, ceramics, and paint, are critical in the attempt to recreate an historical space. To determine the paint colors in each space, Cheekwood consulted expert paint analyst Matthew Mosca. Based on the samples Matthew collected, followed by microscopic analysis, we were able to determine the original Cheek family paint choices. In January, February and March of this year, the 1932 colors were fully restored.
This image is a cross-section of a paint sample Matthew analyzed; the horizontal lines are layers of paint, with the most recent at the top of the image. From this image, we can tell that one room was painted many times and with many different color choices. Can you guess which room this represents?
In the Dining Room, we exposed long-forgotten architectural features that have not been visible for many years. The original, decorative plaster molding was held together using horsehair!
The next phase of the restoration will include installation of historical and antique objects into the restored spaces. Stay tuned for more updates throughout the process, and be sure to mark your calendars for June 17 when the mansion officially re-opens to the public.
The restoration of Cheekwood’s historic rooms and gardens, and the endowment for their care and maintenance, have been made possible with generous support from The Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation, the Bovender Family, Mr. and Mrs. William F. Andrews, and the Founding Members of The 1929 Club.