by Rebecca Arrington
attended a reception last Friday to celebrate the completion
of the Pavilion VII restoration, a feature of which includes
a 12-by-16 skylight previously incorporated in the buildings
Pavilion VII: building restoration
By Jane Ford
a $3.7 million architectural restoration project, Pavilion
VII, the oldest building on the Lawn, has re-opened its door
or doors, to be
of the surprises found during the restoration process involved
a set of double doors in the 1817 Jeffersonian part of the structure.
The doors, covered with plaster on the inside, still had several
early painted mahogany wood-grain finishes, one after another,
but the early metal door hardware was missing. As restored, the
wood doors still show some of the earliest finishes in the uppermost
panels, inside and out.
VII has been the largest and most complex restoration undertaken
during my two decades here, said James Murray Howard, curator
for the Academical Village. Research and construction required
more than five years, three of that in field work alone.
than 150 Facilities Management craftsmen worked on the project,
in addition to outside contractors, engineering consultants and
several volunteer specialists for decorative matters.
attention to detail has been a key part of the process, providing
invaluable data to the on-going restoration of other structures
in the historic Grounds, Howard added.
construction, finding details concerning a stairway in the entry
hall provided insight into how two rooms on the second floor were
used during the early days of the University. Analysis revealed
that walls were whitewashed, woodwork painted and floors bare.
addition to the 1817 structure, Pavilion VII has two additions,
one in 1860, another in 1912. Because of the three eras
of construction spanning a century interior spaces
are distinctly different in character, he said. In
the current work, we have endeavored to make the three eras compatible
with one another, while respecting the wonderful idiosyncrasies
of the restoration included the reinstallation of a 12-by-16 foot
skylight in the 1912 addition. The original had to be removed
decades ago due to leakage. The light-filled room, painted its
original yellow color, overlooks the garden.
restoration blends historical accuracy with modern technology.
New building systems have been added, including electrical, fire
detection and suppression, heating, air conditioning and plumbing.
An elevator connecting the ground and first floors, and data ports
and phones in each guest room and in various locations throughout
the building were installed.
the Pavilion is an on-going effort. Period furnishings selected
to reflect the history of the times are being restored, commissioned
and purchased. A featured piece in the front room is a restored
glass-fronted bookcase dating from the 1820s. Six duplicates of
a chair Thomas Jefferson ordered from a French cabinetmaker in
the 1780s were commissioned. In addition, 31 copies of an armless,
tablet-back chair designed by Jefferson are in use throughout
the pavilion. Specially made carpet reproductions from England
were installed in many of the rooms.
to Howard, the furnishings will be teaching tools to introduce
students, faculty and visitors to the decorative arts of Jeffersonian
America. To this end, plans include displaying 18th-century engravings
depicting historical events, celestial and geographic globes of
the period, and portraits and busts of famous persons.
James Madison and James Monroe laid the cornerstone for Pavilion
VII, which is the second most public building on the Lawn after