Restoring HMI's Crown Jewel
Saturday, February 22, 2014 4:00 AM
Workers are continuing exterior renovations on the Shrewsbury-Windle House.
Mark Chapman of Piqua, Ohio, places a capital at the top of the support beam and temporarily holds it in place with a vise until the restored wood column is installed at the Shrewsbury-Windle House.
This week the restored columns and capitals that hold up the portico on the south side of the home on First Street were delivered and installed by Mark Chapman, of Piqua, Ohio, and Midwest Maintenance carpenter Mike Mullinix, of Lexington, Ky.
Chapman said the stairs of the portico settled at an angle soon after it was built in 1849, and caused rain to get into the columns, causing extensive water damage. As part of the restoration, the stairway was rebuilt and steel beams were installed to carry the weight of the portico. The restored wooden columns are now decorative and will not bear the load of the portico.
Renovations to the house include a new roof, box gutters and downspouts, restoration of iron work around the house, repairs to windows, shutters and doors, work on the adjacent carriage house for future restrooms, and tuckpointing to the brick facade.
The work is part of the Historic Madison Inc.'s strategic plan, which was unveiled by HMI President and Executive Director John Staicer, at the HMI annual meeting in April 2013.
Staicer said the Shrewsbury-Windle House is HMI's signature property and one of the most nationally significant properties in Madison.
Ann Windle gifted the National Historic Landmark house to HMI in 2011. HMI has budgeted $500,000 for the restoration efforts. The project is being paid for with funds from donors over many years. HMI's board is planning interior renovations of the property to start in 2016 after additional funds are raised.
Photos by Ken Ritchie