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Preservation

2016 Projects  

Mt. Gap Schoolhouse

In the mid 1880s, a one-room schoolhouse was built to serve the surrounding community, later known as Mt. Gap.  Located right on the road to and from Leesburg, the schoolhouse operated for more than 70 years, finally closing in 1953.  One teacher instructed multiple grades throughout the day.  A child moved to the next grade when they completed the required work not when the calendar school year ended.  Children graduating from Mt. Gap Schoolhouse had the ability to read, write well, and do math which equipped them for their lives in the community.  Oatlands and the National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the schoolhouse in 1973 and use it to interpret late 19th/early 20th century education in Loudoun County.  Recently, Oatlands hired Dunn Decorating to paint the building’s exterior and conduct minor repairs.  The vibrant red siding and soft cream trim hark back to the days of little red schoolhouses, a perfect setting for interpretive programs and special events.   

   Schoolhouse Before

 

 


Schoolhouse After

 

 

Mansion Exterior

George Carter began construction on Oatlands’ mansion in 1804.  Since then, the mansion has witnessed more than two-hundred years of  economic change and growth in Loudoun County and the nation as a whole.  Today, it stands as a beautiful example of Federal-style architecture with Georgian and Greek Revival elements.  The mansion is an unique artifact itself, helping to tell the story of everyone who lived here, both free and enslaved individuals.  Oatlands hired Dunn Decorating Company to conduct an extensive paint campaign on the mansion’s exterior.  Paint was donated by Benjamin Moore thanks to their “Giving Moore” foundation.  Work began in March and finished in May.  The sophisticated and muted color scheme highlights the mansion’s dramatic architectural elements, compliments its beautiful pastoral setting and provides a fitting venue for interpreting two centuries of Virginia history. 

 

Bachelor’s Cottage exterior

The Bachelor’s Cottage at Oatlands, constructed in 1821, is one of the most altered buildings on the property.  Nearly every generation left their mark on the structure.  Over time, it transformed from a one-story utilitarian room, likely used as a dairy or farm office, to a cozy two-story residence with an indoor bathroom and attached porch.  Currently, this charming cottage is used for special events.  Oatlands’ staff and volunteers are working to repair exterior issues including deteriorated siding, missing window glaze, failed and chipped paint, deteriorated posts, and missing porch floor boards.  Project is ongoing. 

 

Mansion After Repainting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bachelors Cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

Teahouse

The teahouse, located in Oatlands’ formal English garden, is a beautiful structure dating back to the early 20th century.  While Mr. Eustis spent most of his time at Oatlands enjoying equestrian activities, Mrs. Eustis headlined a team of enthusiastic gardeners to reinvigorate the space from a dilapidated vegetable plot to an intricate terraced garden.  Her teahouse is one of many additions, meant to create “rooms” and areas of interest.  It is a favorite of daily visitors and special event guests alike. Eventually, more than 100 years of exposure to weather began to show.  The structure desperately needed  repairs to the latticework and other structural elements.  Oatlands contracted Western Loudoun Restoration to restore this iconic structure.  Phases 1 and 2 are complete with phase 3 in the works.  Stop by the garden and enjoy a quiet respite in Mrs. Eustis’ idyllic teahouse. 

 

 

 

 

Teahouse Before 

 

 

 

 

 

Teahouse After

 

2015

 

Carriage House front door

In 1903, Mr. and Mrs. Eustis hired the Norris Bros. of Leesburg to build a state-of-the-art structure for their horses and carriages.  Today, much of the original historic fabric is still visible, including an equestrian birthing chamber, chestnut beadboard paneling, decorative floor drains, and second floor grain chutes that emptied into bins on the first floor.  Recently, the heavy front doors began showing signs of moisture infiltration and wood rot.  Oatlands hired Vintage, Inc. to repair three of the four Dutch doors.  Contractor kept as much original material as possible by cleaning out rotted sections and splicing in appropriate material such as Spanish Cedar.  Once repainted, the result is nearly seamless.  

 

 

 

Front Door Before

 

 

 

Front Door After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mansion west side entrance

Both sides of Oatlands’ 1804 mansion have one-story porches with green shutters and white paneling.  These side entrances were added during subsequent renovations to the mansion and helped create its Federal style appearance.  One shutter on the western porch began showing signs of moisture infiltration, insect damage, and wood rot mostly due to a previous repair project.  Oatlands hired Western Loudoun Restoration to repair the shutter by cutting out damaged sections and replacing them with appropriate material such as old-growth Redwood and Fir.  After repainting the whole piece, repairs blend in wonderfully.     

Shutter Before 

Shutter After

 

Bachelor’s Cottage and Pump House roofs

Of all the buildings at Oatlands, only two in the historic core still have cedar shake roofs- the Pump House and the Bachelor’s Cottage.  In addition to being historically accurate for 19th century agrarian buildings, shingled roofs add a charming note to both structures.  The roofs began to show signs of deterioration so Oatlands hired Tomlinson Company, Inc. to conduct repairs.  For the Bachelor’s Cottage, the contractor removed biological growth and installed a ridge cap.  For the Pump House, the contractor conducted more intensive restoration including replacement of rotted shingles, sheathing, crown molding, and fascia boards.  The much needed repairs allow for better aeration of elements and extended durability of the entire roofing system. 

Pump House Before

Roof Before

Pump House After

Roof After

2014  

Mansion roof

George Carter’s 1804 mansion is the centerpiece to Oatlands’ historic core.  As such, staff constantly strives to keep it in good condition.  Damaging roof leaks began endangering the structural integrity of the building, valuable collection items on display, and priceless archives. Oatlands hired Tomlinson Company, Inc. to patch problem areas, waterproof all elements, and paint the entire roof.  Now it looks great and Oatlands' staff can rest assured that the building and collections are once again protected. 

Mansion Roof Before Mansion Roof After

Hay Barn exterior

The early 20th century farm building was severely dilapidated and in unusable condition.  Loss of the agricultural structure meant loss of a physical link to the working community at Oatlands.  Oatlands hired Lauten Design and Construction to restore the entire exterior of the building, including repairs to the roof, siding, doors, windows, and a few structural elements.  By stabilizing the Hay Barn, Oatlands has ensured that it will remain standing and in good condition until funds are raised for more intensive structural repairs. 

 

 

 

Hay Barn Before

Hay Barn After

Sundial stabilization

Located in Oatlands’ terraced garden, the sundial is a major focal point for visitors, photographers, and special events. The Eustis family purchased the piece in Italy during the 1920s and it can be seen in a 1933 aerial photograph of Oatlands.  Due to weatherization over time, all three sections of the sundial became detached from each other.  Oatlands hired Ashby Masonry to stabilize the piece and re-install it securely on the base.  Today, visitors can safely enjoy the whimsical sundial and its note of playfulness in an otherwise formal garden.

Sundial Before  Sundial After
2012-2014  

Greenhouse roof

Commissioned by George Carter in 1810, Oatlands’ greenhouse has protectively housed a variety of plant-life over the years, including citrus trees and roses  In 1903, the Eustis family installed a state-of-the-art Lord & Burnham roof, made of old-growth cypress and glass panes.  By 2010, the roof suffered from severe deterioration, particularly to elements from a previous repair.  Due to the scarcity of appropriate replacement material, Oatlands and the National Trust for Historic Preservation decided on a new roof made of extruded aluminum and glass, designed to emulate the historic roof.  Today, the greenhouse is open every day with interpretive panels on Oatlands’ enslaved community and plants from the garden during the winter months.

Greenhouse Before  Greenhouse After