Balustrade

Whether you pronounce it like “tapenade” or “lemonade,” it has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

Way back when, the house had a balustrade around the edge of the second floor roof:

East Elevation, undated photo, courtesy of Hudson Correctional Facility

We believe the roof balustrade was original to the 1812 house (it is faintly visible in William Wall’s 1819 watercolor ).   And, characteristically, Davis chose to retain and extend it when he designed the 1849 addition.  A portion survives on the west face of his Italianate tower:

But a roof balustrade is essentially a fence at the bottom of a hill and so rain, snow, and ice tends to build up behind it and work their destructive ways.

As we worked on repairing the eaves, portions of the original balustrade support posts started to be uncovered:

The posts had been cut down and covered by sheathing boards during a re-roofing campaign (probably in the first half of the twentieth century).

We carefully recorded the layout of the support posts for future reconstruction of the balustrade.

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1 thought on “Balustrade”

  1. This is really interesting. In the UK we have a great tradition of restoration projects such as these, and to be perfectly honest, I’m rather ignorant of this sort of work in the US. What is so wonderful is that it flies in the face of the common misconception that the US has ‘no history’. it certainly does, and it’s exciting, interesting and worth preserving – well done! I shall keep my eyes peeled for future updates.

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