Architecture Specialty Group Afternoon Session: Paint Research, Lead Silhouette Windows and Water Repellents

Following the Architecture Specialty Group Business Meeting, the afternoon session of presentations began with a paper by Mary Jablonski and Stephanie Hoagland of Jablonski Building Conservation on “Picking, Peering, and Peeling: The Evolving Field of Architectural Paint Research.” The presentation focused on lessons learned from paint studies of interior architectural spaces. Key points raised in the presentation are that paint research involves more than color matching using cross section samples. It should encompass ultraviolet light microscopy and staining, exposure windows and research on paint knowledge and decorative techniques. The Colonial Building in St. John’s, Newfoundland was used as a case study to demonstrate the importance of exposure windows and reveals. Exposure windows can reveal finishes that may be easily missed in cross section examination.

The afternoon’s second paper by Neal Vogel of Restoric LLC and artisan Andrew Delarosa was entitled “In Search of Diana & Endymion (and Walking in Edgar, Hester & Jesus’ Shoes): Researching & Restoring Lead Silhouette Windows.” Lead silhouette windows were popular in the United States between the 1920s and mid-1930s. In one case study, the McKinney Coach House in Buffalo, NY from 1927 with lead silhouette windows by the D’Ascenzo Studio of Philadelphia, Mr. Vogel discussed the challenges of restoring the windows that have missing artwork. In another case study, Mr. Delarosa described the process of recreating lead silhouette windows for the Walter Guest Apartments in Chicago to replace the windows originally designed by Edgar Miller in 1932. The recreation process included trying to recapture the hand of the original artist.

Patricia Miller’s presentation of “Identifying and Treating Aged Water Repellents on Historic Stone Structures” highlighted the point that treatments developed for specific conditions can be unsuccessful if those conditions are not well understood. Ms. Miller, of Conservation Solutions, Inc., discussed the development of film forming water repellents, primarily silicone resins, and penetrants, such as silanes and siloxanes. Two case studies, the World War I Memorial in Washington, DC and the Sutri Fountain at Vizcaya in Miami, FL were reviewed. In each case, previous water repellent treatments had to be considered when evaluating future treatments.