Cheek Mansion Loggia Restoration
As Cheekwood continues its multiple historic initiatives campaigns to return the rooms of this once private family residence to their original 1930s elegance, the Loggia falls next in line to receive treatment. To much excitement, several 1935 photographs of the Loggia, along with notes written about the expansive room by Leslie Cheek Jr., were recently uncovered. After describing the steps he took to design the original louvered door system for the space, Leslie Jr. also alluded that he personally took on the role of Interior Designer. A note documents that the original decorative color scheme throughout the room was white, yellow and green, and there was “much use of clear and mirrored glass to aid in the effect of coolness.” Unlike the Georgian design found throughout the rest of the house, Leslie Jr. decided that the Loggia should embody “modern 1930s” taste as well as Neoclassical influences to mimic the architectural aesthetic of the room. This time, instead of consulting Europe’s fine antique markets, furnishings were sourced from popular department stores of the era. Decorative lamps and rugs were bought at W. & J. Sloane, a store in New York City which catered to prominent spaces and families, including the White House and the Vanderbilts. Likewise, comfortable Neoclassical and Chippendale influenced iron patio furniture was purchased from no other than, Lord & Taylor.
Over the summer months of 2019, the Loggia is undergoing conservation to restore one of Cheekwood’s most widely beloved spaces. To realize this latest initiative, Cheekwood is contracting with conservators and specialists from EverGreene Architectural Arts and Medallion Pool Company Inc. to ensure the Cheek’s original vision is reestablished. An important and much anticipated component of this project will be the restoration of the eighteenth-century Italianate terracotta fountain. The terracotta will be dismantled and restored off-site in EverGreene’s conservation studio in Washington DC, while a new pump and water monitoring system will be installed so that the water curtain fountain can once again take a place of prominence in the Loggia. Additional repairs will be made to the plaster walls and decorative moldings of this indoor-outdoor living space. The original 1930s paint colors will also be reintroduced as determined from a professional historic paint analysis preformed of the space in 2018. For preservation and functionality purposes, the four sets of grand fifteen-foot exterior doors will be redesigned and replaced. The final component of the project will be the reinstallation of Neoclassical inspired modern furnishings, reminiscent of Leslie Jr.’s design, and live plant material. Upon project completion, guests will be invited to interact and relax in this comforting space to fully enjoy its classical beauty.