April 5 update: Hardy House Restoration

Photos and text (c) Mark Hertzberg

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Restoration of the Thomas P. Hardy House continues at a fast pace with 90 visitors expected to tour the house April 27 (see previous post and http://www.wrightinwisconsin.org – reservations still available). Concrete was poured today at the north and south entry ways. The cantilevered concrete slab at the south door had caved in (photos in previous updates show daylight in the view looking up from the basement) so both the south and north entry slabs were replaced today.

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Construction of cedar gates, replicating the ones Mr. Wright put across the north and south entry ways when the house was built in 1906, is expected to begin soon. The original gates were removed by the third owners of the house (1947-1957). This is a model that Chad and Homer Nichols made of the gates they will build:

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Paul Lemke, the plasterer, had a challenge building the scaffolding to work in the living room. It also took him several days to cover the cedar trim with blue masking tape…after he swept the cobwebs off the ceiling.

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Paul thought he had finished the upstairs bedrooms several months ago…but then the insulation crew arrived a week ago and put holes in the ceilings. Paul will need to redo the ceilings.

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The most dramatic change in the exterior appearance of the house is the plywood shelter built around the entry hallway a few weeks ago. Gordon Hudson and Kevin Grant built the shelter before removing the upper portion of the exterior hallway wall. They will use photos taken of the hallway before restoration began in September to guide them as they rebuild the wall to make sure it will last another 100 years.

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We look forward to seeing many of you at the April 27 tour, which benefits Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin. Tours are limited to 90 people, by reservation for specific time slots between 9:30 and 2:30 p.m. Reservations are accepted by telephone only, at 608-287-0339. (I am on the board of the organization, and I will be leading the tours.)

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