Thursday, October 18, 2012

What color was the Old Senate Chamber?

This is one of the many questions often asked by visitors to the Old Senate Chamber, and it is one being scrutinized by the project team working on the restoration. In a room that has experienced so many architectural changes in its 233-year history, there is no easy answer to the question of what is "original" to the room. Beginning with this entry, we will begin to examine many of the architectural elements and finishes currently in the space and provide insights into what we do, or do not, know about each of them. 

c. 1905
Color postcard of the Restored Old Senate Chamber
Postcards Of Maryland State House Grounds Collection
MSA SC 2215-21
Since the room was restored in 1905, the walls have only been painted in three different colors: a "colonial" green in 1905, modeled after John Trumbull's 1824 painting of General George Washington Resigning his Commission; white in the mid-twentieth century; and Prussian blue in the late 1990s.

So are any of these colors original to the eighteenth century?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Progress Uptdate: Measuring the OSC

 From left: Project architects, Mark Wenger and John Mesick, and
Sasha Lourie, Curator, Maryland Commission on Artistic Property

Last week, architects John Mesick, Mark Wenger, and their team from Mesick, Cohen, Wilson, Baker, LLP were in the Old Senate Chamber documenting and measuring the space in preparation for the demolition and design phases of this project.  During their week-long stay, the architects also visited historic Annapolis houses in order to have a better understanding of the local architectural vocabulary and to identify the relationship between the architects and craftsmen documented to have been working in the city during the construction of the State House.

Below: Members of Mesick, Cohen, Wilson, Baker, LLP team
drafting and measuring the space.