As in the case with most of the original Jefferson structures, Pavilion I is generally in good condition despite varying levels of maintenance it has received over its more than eight score years of existence. This is in large measure because of the considerable amount of thought expended on the design of the original construction details, the care that went into the construction of the building, and the high quality of its original materials. Also, the special attention that the Jefferson buildings have received in the past half dozen years from the university, resulting in the appointment of the Architect for Historic Buildings and Grounds to oversee the preservation of the buildings, has done much to arrest the deterioration normally associated with structures of its age.

Except for much of the roof framing and sheathing, which was destroyed by the fire of 1886, the historic building fabric of Pavilion I has survived virtually intact. This is especially remarkable for a building that has had to adjust to changing uses, occupants, and lifestyles since 1825.

Pavilion I exhibits relatively minor building problems that are also found in other original pavilions. These include: differential settlement of the exterior walls, interior bearing walls, and chimney masses; rising damp in exterior and interior masonry walls and basement floor; failure or complete lack of minor flashings and drip edges; problems with roofs caused by inadequate detailing; obsolete heating and electrical systems; lack of central air-conditioning systems; disturbance of original floor plans caused by installation of modern bathrooms; damage to original architectural features, such as stairways, by the installation of modern heating systems; and damage to interior finish surfaces caused by roof and/or plumbing leaks and uneven settlement of bearing walls and fireplace masses. The following is an itemized listing of these problems.



The standing-seam terneplate roof was installed within the past two years. The roof approximates the appearance of the terneplate roof that was installed on Pavilion I after the 1886 fire. It appears that all of the wood board sheathing, most of which dated from the 1886 work but some of which may have been original, was removed and replaced with plywood as part of the recent roofing work. In order to determine if any evidence survives as to the original roofing, it will be necessary to remove sections of new roof near the eaves. It may be possible that fragments of the original sheathing have remained in those areas. Based on the recent investigations of the Pavilion X roof, it is possible that the Pavilion I roofing originally consisted of tinplate shingles, approximately 6-3/4 by 10 inches, fastened together along the 10 inch dimension (vertical) using a single lock seam. The horizontal courses were lapped approximately 2 inches; no lock seams were used on the overlap.

Because the roof is only two years old, it is in good condition with no known leaks. However, in order to maintain this condition, the following details will have to be attended to within the next several years:

Chimneys and Roofs.

1. Copper cap flashing over terneplate base flashing of main chimney will result in electrolytic corrosion of the terneplate because of the use of dissimilar metals. The joint where the cap flashing enters the chimney is heavily caulked; chimney leaks will result when the caulk fails in a few years.

2. As at the main chimney, there is copper flashing over terneplate base flashing and heavy caulking where flashing enters the west wing chimney. Also, the copper flashings are nailed into the chimney masonry, a practice that is not recommended because it does not allow the flashing to move with thermal expansion and contraction.

3. There is deteriorated portland cement mortar pointing on both chimneys.

4. Because there is no ridge pole and because most of the original rafters were destroyed by the 1886 fire and replaced with lighter members, the ridge line is swayed and uneven. Although this results in an uneven appearance to the roof, it does not have any structural implications.

East Elevation.

The portico and entablature are generally in good condition. However, localized deterioration has occurred and repairs are needed in order to maintain the integrity of these architectural elements.

1. The north corner of the entablature is cracked and has opened up.
2. The uppermost fascia board is rotted and is in need of consolidation.
3. On all of the woodwork, there is a heavy build-up of paint that obscures the molding profiles and detailing. In some areas the paint is cracked and flaking.
4. There are water stains on some of the frieze moldings indicating that water is penetrating behind the flashings and is leaking behind some of the moldings. If this condition is not corrected, additional wood deterioration will occur.
5. The flashing joints of the horizontal element of the pediment have opened and are rusting.
6. The flashings above the column capitals are inadequate and need to be replaced.
7. There is a heavy build-up of whitewash on the columns, in some areas the coatings have spelled away.
8. There are no drip edges on the horizontal moldings of the entablatures. Drip edges are necessary to shed water away from the surfaces of the moldings so that water is less likely to penetrate behind the wood elements and cause damage to unprotected areas.


The second floor porch is in need of maintenance. The porch, which is suspended from the pediment framing by iron tension rods, sways or "swims." This condition is caused by minor differential settlement of the building's masonry walls and the slight falling out of adjustment of the iron rods and supporting wood framing.

1. The beaded board ceiling of the porch has cracked and opened-up in areas. There is evidence of a roof/flashing leak at the north end.
2. The floor-level moldings at the north end of the porch are cracking and opening up resulting in leaks.
3. At the north end is a transparent plastic barrier to discourage access to the porch from the terrace level of the Rotunda. This barrier is a visual intervention which is not compatible with the original architecture of the pavilion. Moisture and debris, such as leaves, also are trapped behind the plastic against the porch.
4. The porch deck apparently is leaking.
5. A section of the wood molding of the fan light has broken away and is missing.


The brick exterior walls are generally in good condition. Original mortar pointing survives in sections of the east facade that have been protected by the portico and porch. The brick walls exhibit two major problems. The first is differential settlement of the walls resulting in vertical and diagonal settlement cracks in the brickwork. Although the settlement has been relatively minor, the damage to the walls has been compounded by repointing with hard, portland cement mortars. The portland cement mortar is considerably harder, more rigid, and less plastic than the original lime mortar so that, as settlement continues, additional damage is done to the masonry. Also, the gray portland cement mortar does not match the white color of the original mortar and the tooling of the repointed areas does not match the original; the portland cement mortar is applied much more sloppily than the old mortar and in many cases is smeared over the faces of the brick.

Another related problem is the weathering away of both brick corners and pointing mortar, leaving open joints between the bricks. The joints either remain open or have been unsatisfactorily repointed with portland cement mortar.

The second major problem with the masonry walls is rising damp. Moisture in the ground beneath the building is drawn up through the masonry by capillary action. When this moisture, containing salts dissolved from the soil and from the masonry through which it has passed, evaporates from the surface of the wall, some of these salts crystallize on the surface forming a white powdery substance called efflorescence. The efflorescence that can be seen on the surface usually causes little harm to the masonry, although it can draw and hold moisture on the surface of the wall. Some of the salts, however, crystallize behind the surface exerting pressure on the cells of the masonry. In time the surface of the wall will become friable and pieces of brick and mortar will spell off. The following is a listing of the masonry problems.

East Elevation.
1. Moisture damage in north corner caused by rising damp and leaks in the porch floor. Mortar has been washed away.
2. Settlement cracks above porch.

North Elevation.
1. Deteriorated mortar joints beneath second floor windows, main block.
2. Deteriorated joints on west end of west wing in vicinity of rain leader. Some spelling brick and efflorescence.
3. Open mortar joints above basement windows and at east end of facade at basement level. Masonry above windows has deflected slightly.
4. Rising damp damage at northeast corner of main floor.
5. Deteriorated portland cement pointing along entire bottom of walls of west wing, along with serious rising damp damage.

West Elevation.
1. Diagonal settlement cracks below second floor windows and deteriorated pointing.
2. Deteriorated portland cement mortar pointing along entire bottom of wall, along with serious rising damp damage.
3. Deteriorated pointing and spelled brick around leader.
4. Evidence of settlement above first floor masonry openings.

South Elevation.
1. Deteriorated portland cement mortar along entire bottom of wall of west wing, along with serious rising damp damage.
2. Settlement cracks between first and second floor windows of main block. Masonry above east basement window bulges slightly.
3. Deteriorated portland cement mortar on arches over basement windows and between first and second floor windows and near doorway of main block. Brick near doorway is spelled because of hard, portland cement mortar in the joints.
4. Deteriorated parging above lawn room roof.
5. Deteriorated concrete door sill.

Telephone Cables and Electrical Conduit.

1. Exposed telephone wires are draped along all exterior walls. Electrical conduit is exposed on south and west wall. These are not only visual intrusions but also damage the masonry by collecting moisture.


Areaway Along North Wall.
1. Standing water, only drain is at west end.
2. Cracked and deteriorated concrete paving.

Areaway Along South Wall.
1. Areaway is filled with debris.


The historic wood windows are generally sound, although there is localized decay of the wood and flaking paint. Much of the existing glazing compound is deteriorated. Most of the windows are in need of rehanging for proper operation and to reduce excessive air penetration.



Room B1 Front Stair Hall.
1. Original stairs have pulled away from the east wall. Paneling along south wall has cracked.
2. Heating pipes have been cut through original stairway risers.
3. Rising damp damage along east wall.
4. Some original flooring brick have been set in portland cement mortar. Originally, bricks were set in sand.
5. Brick floor becomes excessively damp during periods of heavy rain.

Room B2 Front Hall.
1. Some original flooring brick have been set in portland cement.
2. Heating pipes suspended from ceiling limit headroom.

Room B3 Recreation Room.
1. Water stains on concrete floor.
2 Original north-south partition has been removed.

Room B4 Family Room.
1. Some original flooring brick have been set in portland cement mortar. Some brick have spelled.
2 Heating pipes suspended from ceiling limit headroom.
3. Some firebox flooring brick of fireplace have spelled.

Room B5 Laundry Room.
1. Heating pipes suspended from ceiling limit headroom.
2 Exhaust from dryer exits through window pane.
3. Moisture damage in ceiling.
4. Rising damp damage in east wall.

Room B7 Rear Stair Hall.
1. Heating pipes suspended from ceiling limit headroom.
2. Rising damp damage in west wall.
3. Treads of stairway are badly worn and splintered in places.

Room B8 Bedroom.
1. Rising damp damage in south and west walls.
2. Moisture damage in ceiling.
3. Window and door casings are cracked at the joints, and the window casings are pulling away from the plaster.

Room B9 South Hall.
1. Rising damp damage in south wall.
2. Casing is cracked at the joints.


Room 101 Entrance Hall.
1. Moisture damage in ceiling and north wall caused by second floor plumbing leak. Ceiling was lowered about four inches when bathrooms were installed above.
2. Evidence of settlement at east end of north wall and west end of south wall.
3. Door casings of south wall cracked at the joints.
4. Settlement cracks in north wall between chair rail and plaster.

Room 102 Living Room.
1. Settlement cracks in southwest and northwest corners. Crack in northwest corner extends to second floor.
2. There is evidence that the fireplace mass and the east and west masonry walls are settling at different rates; the flooring slopes away from the fireplace mass in both directions.
3. Brick firebox and hearth have been painted.
4. Two original windows in the west wall have been made into a recessed bookcase and doorway.
5. Door lock and hardware are in need of cleaning.
6. Cracks in the plaster at west end of chimney breast near the ceiling.

Room 103 Dining Room.
1. Moisture damage in ceiling.
2. Cracks in wood cornice at joints.
3. Cracks in baseboard at joints on south wall.
4. Settlement cracks in southwest corner.
5. Two original windows in the west wall have been made into a doorway and recessed cabinet. Joints in the woodwork have opened up.
6. Fireplace firebox has been partially filled in.
7. Floor boards near the doorway in the west wall have been damaged. Varnish stain finish is wearing away.

Room 104 Front Stair Hall.
1. Cracks in baseboard at joints on stair landing between first and second floors.
2. Damaged plaster behind radiator on west wall.

Room 105 Bedroom.
1. Settlement cracks in northeast corner.
2. Moisture damage in north wall caused by roof leaks.
3. Door casings are cracked at joints on south, east, and west walls.

Room 107 Bathroom.
1. Moisture damage in ceiling caused by roof leaks.
2. Door casings are cracked at the joints on north wall.
3. Design quality of the space is not appropriate to the historic nature of the building.

Room 108 Rear Hall.
1. Door casings are cracked at the joints on east and south walls.
2. Window casing is cracked at the joints on west wall.

Room 109 Kitchen and Room 110 Pantry.
1. Plywood cabinets, vinyl flooring and track lighting are not appropriate to historic quality of building.

Room 111 Rear Stair Hall.
1. Joints of door casings have opened up on north and west walls.
2. Cracks between floorboards have opened up.
3. Joints of skylight trim have opened up.


Room 201 Stair Hall.
1. Moisture damage in ceiling and southeast corner.
2. Joints in wood cornice have opened up.
3. Joints in door casing have opened up on south wall.
4. Built-in plywood wardrobe detracts from historic quality of space.

Room 202 Front Hall.
1. Settlement cracks in north and south walls.
2. Modern plaster ceiling has been suspended below original ceiling.

Room 203 Bathroom.
1. Modern plaster ceiling has been suspended below original ceiling.
2. Bathroom lacks exhaust fan.
3. Design quality of the space is not appropriate to the historic nature of the building.

Room 204 Bedroom.
1. Moisture damage in ceiling and in northeast corner.
2. Joints in door casing on west wall have opened up.
3. Use of plywood cabinet detracts from historic quality and original volume of space.

Room 205 Bedroom.
1. Joints in wood cornice have opened up.
2. Joints in window casings on north and west walls have opened up.
3. Floor boards have been taken up and replaced because corner has settled.
4. Use of plywood cabinet detracts from historic quality and original volume of space.

Room 206 Rear Hall.
1. Joints in door casings on north, east, and south walls have opened up.

Room 207 Bathroom.
1. Modern plaster ceiling has been suspended below original ceiling.
2. Bathroom lacks exhaust fan.
3. Design quality of this space is inappropriate to the historic nature of the building.

Room 208 Master Bedroom.
1. Moisture damage in south wall caused by roof leaks.
2. Moisture damage in fireplace mass on north wall.
3. Joints in wood fireplace mantel have opened up.
4. Decorative cornice has heavy paint build-up to the extent that important detailing has been obscured.
5. Use of plywood cabinet detracts from historic quality and original volume of space.



The electrical system was installed early in the twentieth century. It apparently has been supplemented several times since. However, the system does not appear to be adequate at the present time; it has been supplemented with surface raceway and exposed lamp cord in various locations. All of the lighting fixtures are inappropriate for a building that is as historically and architecturally significant as Pavilion I.


As in all the pavilions, the heating system consists of superheated hot water piped from a central heating plant. Exchange units are located beneath the student rooms between the pavilions to convert the superheated water to medium temperature hot water, which is then circulated through the building. Rooms are heated by cast-iron radiators. The entire system was installed earlier in this century. Generally the pipes have been installed in a way that detracts from the historic appearance of the buildings. They are especially obtrusive in the basement where the supply mains run along the ceiling and in front of the windows. In some areas, hot pipes have dried out adjacent masonry walls, resulting in deterioration of the masonry, plaster wall and ceiling finishes, and wood trim. In general, all of the pavilions are vastly overheated in winter.


The plumbing system was also installed earlier in the twentieth century and has probably been supplemented at various times since then. However, it appears to be at the end of its useful life; in recent years there have been several serious leaks.

A major problem with the plumbing system is the location of the two bathrooms in the former second floor hallway. This situation causes major circulation problems, it is not possible to get to one of the bedrooms without going through another bedroom. The bathrooms also alter the floor plan so that Jefferson's original design is difficult to perceive.


There are no fire detection or suppression systems in the building.

Table of Contents
Last Modified: Thursday, 08-Aug-1996 10:12:48 EDT