Major exterior painting project completed at Langdon House

Sep 4, 2020

This summer Historic New England did extensive exterior painting at Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Crews made a significant transformation by painting the front facade of this illustrious National Historic Landmark and an additional five elevations on the McKim, Mead, & White extension at the back of the house. The project also including re-glazing and painting windows and removing the shutters for restoration work and painting. A full restoration is also underway on the rear porch.

Like many other organizations today, Historic New England had to scale back the project due to budget constraints from the financial impact of lack of tourism income and tour and program visitation. “I think moving this project along is a testament to our recognition of the importance of Langdon House. Although we had to reduce the scope of work, we proceeded with a fairly extensive paint project,” said Preservation Manager Bruce Blanchard. “It is nice to see the improvement to the house George Washington ‘esteemed the first’ in Portsmouth.”

More for the visitor to enjoy

Visitors to the landscape and couples having weddings on the grounds will see a newly improved setting that will also serve as a backdrop to many public programs in the works. The landscape is open to visitors this year free of charge from dusk to dawn.

Regional Site Administrator Gwendolyn Loomis Smith said, “Visitors to Langdon House often remark on the grandness of the house, and Langdon obviously wanted a house to impress. Like all New Englanders, Historic New England is all too familiar with how our region’s storms require constant monitoring and upkeep to make sure that this house, and others we own and operate, are the showplaces they were intended to be. This work, along with the full restoration this past spring of the one hundred foot rose arbor in the back garden helps Langdon House shine once again.”

Next steps

Pending additional fund raising, Historic New England’s next project at Langdon House will be to complete the exterior painting and to repair and paint the ornate fence that surrounds the property. Other property care projects in Portsmouth are the replacement of the rose arbor at Rundlet-May House on Middle Street and carpentry work on the windows at Jackson House on Northwest Street.

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