The Restoration Dialogue – Solving the Unknowns of Preservation and Restoration – The Branch House Pipes
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The Branch House plumbing is remarkable in that so much of the original piping is still in use after 100 years but it is causing damage to the decorative plaster. Tracing the pipes has led to understanding how the house was built behind the surfaces you see. You will see various strategies in investigating behind the walls, spaces not normally seen by the public including the highest and lowest parts of the building, and some of the 1916 construction drawings from Pope’s office. You will learn about construction techniques that were novel in 1919 but are common today and things to consider when describing work to be done that you cannot see. Like a simple plumbing job today, what started as a seemingly mundane task escalated into a historical reimagining of the entire building and discovery of what was else needs to be done!
Walter M. Dotts III, Trustee – Old House Authority, and great-grandson of John Kerr Branch and Beulah Gould Branch
A native of Richmond, VA, Dotts’ early participation in philanthropic causes reflected his varied interests, ranging from historic preservation, performing arts, education, animal welfare, and genealogy. Dotts’ interest in historic preservation and traditional building techniques resulted in his restoration of a mid-18th century country house in Dutchess County, New York, and an early 19th century house in Richmond. That experience led to his becoming an advisor to realtors and property owners on preservation priorities. He co-founded Old House Authority, a company providing professional advice on the rehabilitation and conservation of old and historic buildings and materials. Dotts is an alumnus of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond and Brown University
Penny Fletcher, Executive Director, The Branch House of Architecture and Design
A graduate of The College of William and Mary, Fletcher’s career has focused in the not-for-profit arena. She currently serves as Executive Director of The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design.
She was Executive Director of the Lupus Foundation of America, DC/MD/VA; Deputy Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Museum Director for the John Paul II Cultural Center; Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Children’s Museum.
Fred Esenwein, Ph.D., Glavé & Holmes Architecture, Moderator
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