The principal goal of this historic structure report is to provide a framework for guiding the current, as well as future, renewal efforts. The historic structure report process will help to ensure that the integrity of the building is not compromised and that its remaining historic fabric is preserved intact while necessary modifications are made to accommodate modern functional requirements, such as bathrooms and kitchens. The late twentieth-century modifications that have compromised the historic character of the building should be reversed. Restoration work should be based on sound physical and documentary evidence, so that the work can be carried out in a manner that is historically accurate and not based on romantic notions and suppositions about past conditions or expedient, pseudo-historic design considerations.


The restoration of all the pavilions, including Pavilion VI, should be approached from a curatorial standpoint; the building should be treated with the same care that is given to a rare painting or valuable piece of furniture. Its restoration and long-term care should be entrusted only to building restoration specialists who have been trained in the conservation of historic building fabric. Trained craftsmen develop a sensitivity to historic materials and the ways in which they were used and combined. They understand that inappropriate, expedient solutions often cause greater problems and result in treatments that are irreversible. Trained craftsmen are willing to take the time to find the appropriate materials and solutions needed to do the work correctly. It is also important to realize that accurate restoration work often will be difficult and require extraordinary dedication to excellence. Compromises may have to be made by the occupants of the pavilions in accommodating their living style to the plan of the building in its historic form. When compromises need to be made in the installation of mechanical systems, the highest priority should be given to the preservation of the building's historic fabric, rather than to the provision of excessive levels of comfort for the occupants.

The installation of new utility systems has often been the most damaging renovation activity in historic buildings, partly because overly sophisticated systems designed to provide unnecessarily high levels of comfort for the occupants were installed. Such systems often require large amounts of space for equipment in the building and cause the destruction of much original building fabric in order to conceal piping and ductwork. Although the exposed pipes and radiators of the existing circulating hot water system in Pavilion VI are not visually compatible with the historic character of the building, very little historic fabric -- only that from a few small-diameter holes -- was removed when the system was installed.

The restoration of a significant historic building such as Pavilion VI requires compromises. In almost all cases, the introduction of a new heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system will have some visual effect on the historic interiors and will cause destruction of some historic building fabric. In order to minimize these effects, new systems for significant historic buildings should be designed to provide acceptable comfort levels but should not be expected to provide the highest levels of heating and air conditioning that would be found in an entirely new structure. New utility systems should be designed by engineers who specialize in the insertion of modern systems in historic buildings. This design work should be directed by restoration architects to ensure that the integrity of the building is protected through the selection of the least intrusive systems. Original Jefferson-era construction, even that which is normally concealed such as the sound-proofing in the floor construction, should not be disturbed or removed for the installation of mechanical systems which have a life expectancy of little more than a generation. The systems must be skillfully designed so that they provide adequate levels of comfort while meeting these building conservation requirements.

Concern for the preservation of all original building fabric should be extended to other sections of the building such as windows, doors and hardware, plaster walls and ceilings, and floorboards. Where windows need to be rehung in order to function properly, all original components should be preserved and stabilized, using consolidants where required. Where elements such as window stops are missing, exact replicas of the originals are to be installed. Never should original stops be replaced with new elements for cosmetic reasons or for the convenience of the construction crew. Similar care should be used when removing original doors. In many cases, the hinges are still attached with original handmade screws. If these screws must be removed, they should be carefully labeled and stored so that they can be returned to the same holes when the door is rehung. In the same manner, damaged original plaster should be patched. No entire wall or ceiling surfaces should be removed because it may be easier for workers to provide entirely new surfaces. Original wood trim should not be disturbed or removed. Where damage has occurred, the elements should be stabilized and repaired in situ.

Pavilion VI retains, like many of the other pavilions, many elements of the original Jefferson-period construction and significant later nineteenth-and early twentieth century changes and additions. These elements must be carefully preserved during the restoration work.



The existing standing-seam sheet-metal roof has reached the end of its effective life and is no longer serviceable. It should be removed so that the original Jefferson tinplate shingle roof can be preserved in place and encapsulated. Once cleaned, the original roof should be covered with plywood, which will protect the original tinplate and form a substrate for the new roof. A single-ply membrane should be applied over the plywood to provide a weathertight roof covering. Finally, a replica of the original roof should be installed using terne-coated stainless-steel shingles that match the original exactly. The new roof should match exactly the appearance of the Jefferson roof and utilize the same building technology. Like the original roof, the new shingles should not be painted.

In the same manner, the rear addition should be covered with a replica of its first roofing, also using terne-coated stainless steel. However, this roof should consist of 14 x 20 inch pans, rather than the smaller pans used by Jefferson. It should be installed in a standing seam pattern, which is typical of late nineteenth-century roofing technology.


The brick exterior walls need to be cleaned and repaired carefully. The recent Portland cement mortar should be removed and new lime-rich mortar installed. This work should be undertaken by a new university Department of Physical Plant crew that is specifically constituted and trained for restoration work. The masonry work should be undertaken as soon as possible and include the following:

  1. Clean exterior brick walls using a mildly acidic masonry cleaner.
  2. Remove all deteriorated mortar and recently installed Portland cement pointing and replace with lime-rich mortar matching original in color, texture, density and tooling. After repointing, settlement cracks should be monitored to determine if movement has been arrested.
  3. Remove efflorescence and other staining from brickwork using mild chemical cleaning agents that will not damage the masonry.
  4. Replace badly spalled bricks.
  5. Correct exterior drainage to help prevent rising damp.
  6. Repair roof gutters and leaders to prevent leaks into exterior brickwork.
  7. Remove surface mounted telephone cables and electrical conduit from brick walls. Provide underground telephone service.


  1. Remove all loose and flaking paint using hand-scraping techniques.
  2. Repair deteriorated wood using epoxy consolidants and fillers.
  3. Replace deteriorated putty and repaint sash.
  4. Rehang all sash for proper operation and to reduce excessive air penetration.


The interior spaces located in the original block of the house should be preserved in their historic forms. Original paint colors and interior finishes should be replicated.

Generally, the building should continue to be used as it has been recently, with the more formal entertaining spaces and the kitchen on the first floor, family bedrooms and a study of the second floor, and informal living spaces and guest bedrooms in the basement.

In Pavilion VI, the construction of the rear wing has made the insertion of bathrooms on all floors possible without disturbing the original building. Nevertheless, the issue of how to deal with bathrooms, as well as kitchens, throughout the Academical Village is one that deserves considerable attention. As a minimum, bathrooms and kitchens should be located in the rear extension so that the original building is spared the mutilation caused by the cycles of installation, removal, and replacement of plumbing that occur every few decades. Damage to the original building from accidental leaks also will be avoided if plumbing is confined to the rear wing.


  1. If archaeological investigations provide evidence of an original brick floor, replace concrete with brick set in a mixture of sand and clay in original pattern in original section of house.
  2. Remove existing exposed heating pipes and radiators throughout basement.
  3. Remove existing exposed electrical conduit throughout basement.
  4. Repair deteriorated window and door trim.
  5. Renovate bathroom.


  1. Replace deteriorated and moisture-damaged plaster.
  2. Rake out settlement cracks and replaster.
  3. Repair deteriorated woodwork, including cornices.
  4. Remove disused electrical junction boxes in ceilings.
  5. Remove existing exposed heating pipes and radiators.
  6. Remove existing exposed electrical wiring and conduit.
  7. Renovate kitchen and pantry.
  8. Renovate lavatory.
  9. Remove built-in bookshelves and replace missing woodwork.


  1. Replace deteriorated and moisture-damaged plaster.
  2. Rake out settlement cracks and plaster.
  3. Repair deteriorated woodwork, including cornices.
  4. Remove disused electrical junction boxes in ceilings.
  5. Remove existing exposed heating pipes and radiators.
  6. Remove window-mounted air conditioners.
  7. Renovate bathrooms.
  8. Clean and conserve frescoes in Room 205 (see Appendix).



  1. Replace entire electrical distribution system.
  2. Remove existing lighting fixtures and install fixtures appropriate to historical quality of building.


  1. Remove existing HVAC system, including pipes and radiators.
  2. Investigate installation of new forced air HVAC system to provide heating and air conditioning. Mechanical equipment required for the new system should be located in the mechanical areas beneath the student rooms and in the attic of Pavilion VI.
  3. In order to provide air conditioning, the new HVAC system should be connected to the university's central chilled water system when it is constructed.


  1. Replace entire existing plumbing system as part of the construction work for the new bathrooms and kitchen.


  1. Install fire detection system throughout building.
  2. Connect fire detection system to university's central reporting facility.
  3. Investigate the installation of fire suppression system (sprinklers) in the basement and attic. Because of the damage that would be caused by the installation of a sprinkler system throughout the first and second floors, it is recommended that those floors not be sprinkled.


ROOM 205


On October 7, 1989, the wall and ceiling paintings were inspected by Paul M. Schwartzbaum, who completed the following report. He found that the 600 to 700 square foot area of wall paintings were executed in true buon fresco technique; they were painted according to the Italian Renaissance technique by which the artist used no binder with the pigments, but mixed them only with water (or lime water) and applied them to a fresh lime plaster. A chemical reaction occurred when the lime putty (slaked lime or calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2) came into contact with air containing carbon dioxide (CO2). This reaction resulted in the conversion of the lime putty into calcium carbonate (CaCO3). As a result of this reaction, the pigments were trapped, or fixed, in the hard, insoluble network of crystals.

This technique, which probably originated in Hellenistic times, ensures a highly resistant paint surface. When only inorganic (mineral) pigments are used, as appears to be the case here, the result is a pigmented surface that is also highly resistant to the deleterious effect of light.


The following is the stratigraphy of construction through the walls and ceilings.


  1. Brick exterior walls and interior chimney mass; wood stud interior walls.
  2. Expanded metal lath attached with galvanized steel nails.
  3. Approximately one cm. of fairly coarse lime and sand intonaco (finishing coat or render).
  4. Very thin pigment layers applied with water, with no evidence of any organic binder such as glue, casein, gum, or egg.
  5. Greasy surface dirt.


  1. Compressed fiber board nailed to wood joists.
  2. Same as walls.
  3. Same as walls.
  4. Same as walls.
  5. Same as walls.

The plaster, which in this case appears to be only a single layer, was applied in the traditional Italian form of giornate . Since the term à fresco means that the painting is executed on "fresh" render, plaster is applied only across an area that can be completed by the artist in one painting session, usually one day. Hence the term giornate, or day's work, for such a segment of work. Segments are applied in succession and must overlap to produce the whole composition. Unless very carefully smoothed in an effort to disguise them, the joints are usually visible, especially when examined with a raking light that accentuates surface irregularities. The joints in the Pavilion VI frescoes are quite apparent and can be counted to determine the amount of time the original artists needed to paint the composition. Twenty work days are discernable. It appears that the ceiling took five days, the walls fourteen days, and the donor portrait one day.


The paintings were done in a very coarse manner. In comparison with better quality frescoes, they have an unusually dull and thin appearance. This may be the result of the artists' lack of experience with fresco technique and the limitation of their artistic gift.

The plaster is very coarse and grainy, because the sand was not sufficiently sieved. This condition, plus the fact that the paint was applied with too much water, gives the paintings a cartoon or comic book appearance. Also, the artists drew the outlines first in black pigments and then colored in the areas, which reinforces this impression. The artists often left large gray areas unpainted to serve as the ground or background. Occasionally a few white highlights have been superimposed on these areas. An example of this is the scene to the left of the portrait. Although these highlights might be mistaken for salt accumulations, they are definitely painted.

A more common fresco technique employs a very fine, smooth, and even layer of intonacino (fine finishing plaster), which fills in the irregularities of the render and provides a more luminous substrate on which to paint. Each pigment is mixed in the right proportions into a thicker and slightly more "pasty" paint. A more experienced fresco painter would have added some lime to the brighter colors to brighten the palette. In addition, the irregularities of the fresco surfaces trap airborne particles of dirt and soot, resulting in the formation of the gray layer that covers the frescoes and increases the dingy appearance caused by the gray preparatory render.

The frescoes are securely attached to the lath, which is in turn firmly secured to the brick masonry. There are fewer than twenty obvious instances of detachment; they occur where the galvanized steel nails hold the metal lath in place. Where the galvanized coating has failed, the nails have corroded. The accumulated corrosion has exerted pressure on the plaster above and around the nails. This condition is most visible in the ceiling and in the ceiling-cornice intersections. Because of the response to thermal variation, some separation through the plaster joints has developed in the corners.


The portrait in the niche in the north wall differs from the other frescoes in several ways. It is less thinly painted; the artist seems to have taken more time and care with it. It is also the only area of decoration that shows obvious signs of repair in the past. There are a few patched areas where losses or holes, each about three inches in diameter, have been repaired by filling and painting. These repairs were made by roughly filling in the depressions with what appears to be gypsum plaster. The patches were then coarsely repainted, resulting in an appearance that is very disturbing.


The woodwork of the room appears to have been painted with an oil medium. It is in an excellent state of preservation; the finish has been darkened only slightly by airborne dirt and soot. There has also been some yellowing of the oil medium itself because of exposure to light.


Cleaning tests were conducted on various areas of the frescoes during the inspection to determine the degree of soiling and the possibilities for safely cleaning the paintings. Several tests were undertaken using aqueous reagents, such as water or dilute solutions of ammonium carbonate. The results varied, depending on the pigments of the frescoes and the location of the test. In addition, tests were carried out using dry methods, which are similar to passing a rubber eraser over the surface. Bearing in mind that these frescoes utilized a gray substrate without bright colors, the Aka Chemie "Wishab" Tapeten Reiniger product safely removed a substantial portion of the dirt and grime. This sponge-like material, originally developed for the cleaning of tapestries, when passed over the surface of the frescoes, attaches itself to the surface accumulations and crumbles at the same time. Thus it removes the soil without leaving potentially dangerous residues on the surface.

Test cleanings were also conducted on the architectural woodwork. It appears that a very light cleaning with an extremely dilute solution of ammonium carbonate in water can be safely applied. This process will be sufficient to recreate the original polychromatic harmony between the cleaned frescoes and their architectural frames.



Based on the fact that the paintings were done in a fresco technique using light-resistant mineral pigments and have been exposed to high levels of light for a considerable period of time, it appears that they have already undergone 99% of any potential alteration or damage caused by light. Therefore, it appears that damage from visible light or ultraviolet radiation is not a major problem.


Give the corrosion of some of the galvanized steel nails, it is very important to keep relative humidity below high levels (preferably lower than 70%). If air conditioning is planned, vibration, which is a great enemy of wall plaster, should be minimized, especially during installation. Another major threat to the frescoes is water. Water pipes should not be located above the ceilings or in adjacent walls. Sprinkler pipes should not be installed above or adjacent to the room.



  1. The fresco surfaces should be cleaned with a "Wishab" sponge.
  2. Any small areas of loose plaster should be reattached with an appropriate adhesive, probably a 15% solution of Rhoplex AC34 acrylic in water.
  3. Corroded galvanized steel nails should be removed.
  4. Areas of loss should be filled with lime and sand, similar to the original.
  5. Areas of lost paint should be impainted with reversible, light-resistant water colors of the highest quality.


  1. Same as above.
  2. Same as above
  3. Areas containing old repairs should be removed mechanically.
  4. Same as above.
  5. Areas of lost paint should be reconstructed using a modified tratteggio method, a system used in Rome to reconstruct a loss using a series of small vertical lines that are not visible to the casual viewer but can be detected by interested professionals.


  1. Woodwork should be cleaned with a very dilute (less than 2%) ammonia-based solution.
  2. Areas of lost paint should be inpainted with a light-resistant, acrylic-based paint, such as Bocour or Magna Color.
  3. If necessary, the surface should be waxed.

Table of Contents
Last Modified: Friday, 27-Jun-1997 10:19:34 EDT