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Dormer details uncovered at Langdon House

Sep 27, 2012

At Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, work is underway to preserve the dormers and widow’s walk of the house’s front façade. Scaffolding was installed at the roof line to allow Historic New England’s staff access to the dormers and widow’s walk.

Staff installed netting around the scaffolding and a layer of plastic in order to catch falling paint chips, in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency requirements. Although paint analysis is not part of the current project, paint chips were collected, bagged, and labeled in order to ensure that future analysis is possible.

The dormer details are in an inaccessible location exposed to incredible weather extremes. The goal of this project is to strip the many layers of paint to evaluate the condition of the wood underneath. This process has revealed intricate detailing in the flowers and increased our understanding of how the dormer details were constructed. These significant details will be carefully conserved in situ and then repainted. The project is scheduled to continue through the end of September.

To learn more about paint analysis or painting historic properties, please browse our white papers. To support preservation projects at Langdon House and our thirty-five other historic properties please consider donating to the Preservation Maintenance Fund.