Howard Hall

Howard Hall is our namesake, and the home of the owner of Howard Hall Restoration Group, Reggie Young.

Under restoration since 2005, the house has been used as a learning laboratory, with much of the restoration work being done by interns in the restoration arts.

Attic before
The top floor before the demo (click to enlarge)

Attic demo Attic demo
The top floor mid-demo (click to enlarge)

Attic view
The view from the top floor after the walls had been demoed (click to enlarge)

When we purchased Howard Hall, the top floor was broken up into several small rooms, including a bathroom and a kitchen, and was acting as a separate apartment. We gutted the rooms and removed the walls, restoring it to an open floor plan.

Newly hewn beams Hoisting the beams
The newly hewn beams (left) needed to be craned to the attic from the outside (right) (click to enlarge)

Hoisting the beams
The new beams in place on the top floor (click to enlarge)

The floor itself needed to be jacked as the beams holding up the entire structure of the top floor were severely damaged. New beams were hewn and installed in place of the failing ones.

Chimney repair Plaster
Working on the rebuilt chimney (left) and plastering an interior wall (right) (click to enlarge)

Several tons of sand and lime putty have gone into the pointing and rebuilding of the walls and chimneys, as well as the plastering of most of the building interior. Many interns have learned the basics of the lime arts by participating in this aspect of the restoration.

Stripped windows
The windows needed to be stripped of 40 layers of lead paint (click to enlarge)

The original sash with cylinder glass window panes had to be stripped of 40 coats of lead paint, and restored. The entire house had all lead paint removed and all trim restored and painted.

Original hall
The front hall as it was in the 20th century with the original position of the wall and doorway on the far right (click to enlarge)

Original parlor 2005 parlor
What the front hall looked like when the house was purchased in 2005. Note the position of the left wall and doorway (left). Tearing down the wall so it could be put back in its original position (right) (click to enlarge)

Additions were removed, interior added walls removed, and some walls were restored to their original position where things had been altered. Chimneys were rebuilt and taken back up 40-plus feet, bringing fireplaces back to working order. Lime wash was restored on the exterior and on some interior surfaces.

Original parlor 2005 parlor
The parlor as it was at the turn of the 20th century (left) and as it was when we bought it at the turn of the 21st century (right) (click to enlarge)

Old flue New fireplace
The old flue was nothing more than rubble when we purchased the house (left). The rebuilt fireplace before its coat of lime plaster (right) (click to enlarge)

The chimney on the south wall of the house was completely rebuilt as it had crumbled and fallen. The fireplace that it connected to in the parlor also needed to be rebuilt.

Entry additions Vestibule demo
The entryway and the addition above were covered with siding (left). The vestibule addition mid-demo (right) (click to enlarge)

The front entryway had an additional vestibule added onto it plus an addition above it, and the whole lot was covered in aluminum siding.

Uncovering the window Arched window
These beautiful arched windows were boarded up and forgotten (click to enlarge)

Once we demoed this additional vestibule and removed the aluminum siding, we discovered two beautiful arched windows that had been covered up and forgotten.

Old soffets

Making new soffets

New soffets
The old rotten soffets (top) were removed. We made new soffets (middle), installed them, painted them white and added all the original details back on (bottom) (click to enlarge)

The majority of the soffets around the house needed replacing as much of the wood had rotted. Damaged and missing bricks were replaced around the windows.

Blocked fireplace Boarded windows
The blocked fireplace (left) and boarded up windows (right) in the basement kitchen (click to enlarge)

The basement kitchen was another part of the house that needed major restoration and lead to some unexpected surprises. Because of the additions added to the south and west facing sides of the home, several windows in the basement had been covered over. The ceiling had been painted with a thick layer of dark paint, which required the use of lava sand and a high pressure water sprayer to be removed.

Fireplace Beehive oven
Uncovering the fireplace (left) and the beehive oven (right) (click to enlarge)

The fireplace was also blocked and covered. Perhaps one of the most exciting discoveries within the house was the uncovering of the beehive oven which lay hidden behind drywall to the right of the fireplace.

Original parlor 2005 parlor
Out with the old fiberglass insulation (left), in with the new soy foam insulation (right) (click to enlarge)

Co-generation heating, soy foam insulation, and other environmentally friendly solutions have gotten us on our way to greening this big pile of rocks!

Much work has been done on interior finishes thanks to the help of interns and classes. The porch restoration is also underway and very near completion. The landscape plan and exterior farm plan are scheduled for future projects.



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