Library Restoration at Belmont Mansion
In January 2014, the restoration of Belmont Mansion's Library began. Our first step? Paint, more specifically a paint analysis on the ceiling which revealed the original paint colors and ceiling decoration. Once given this information a plan for the restored colors could be formulated which allowed for a decorative painter to begin work early that summer.
Later that summer work moved from the ceiling to the woodwork when we reproduced the original faux graining on all the doors and window frames in the room. This meticulous work took our artisans over two weeks to complete because each line, swirl and accent was done by hand. It is a true work of art, and it enhances the presence of the room.
Wallpaper was another crucial design feature in this 19th century room and became the last stage in the process of preparing the physical space. For the room we selected a Gothic Revival paper, a style that was popular in the mid-nineteenth century and used primarily in the dining rooms and libraries of domestic structures. It could also be found in academic and eccelesiastical buildings where its use first became popular.
Finally, after nearly ten months of work, the Library was reopened for tours. Nearly every surface of the room had undergone careful and detailed work to recreate an accurate period historic interior dating from the 19th century. Additionally, great research and care had gone into the selection of furniture and appurtenances to create the feeling of a library in which Joseph Acklen would have lived and worked. The result creates a backdrop for the work of a 19th century landowner. This very masculine room would have been functional but also a statement to visitors to the house. We are thankful to all those who made this restoration possible.