Preservation Work on the Sandburg Home and Barn

Sandburg family living room
Almost all of the Sandburg belongings have been returned to their place. Photo taken October 2018.

NPS Photo

October 2018 Update
The furniture is back!!! Sandburg's library of 10,000 books and more than 30,000 items of furnishings were returned to the house in September. Most of the furnishings are back in place with all the finishing touches to be complete by the end of 2018. Tours have resumed on their normal schedule.

In 2015 the Sandburg furniture and book collection inside the home was packed and moved to storage to prepare the interior for several preservation treatments. Windows in deteriorated condition were repaired, the conservatory or greenhouse attached to the east side of the house was rebuilt, exterior siding was repaired and the house was painted, interior walls were painted, the wood floors cleaned and new carpet runners installed, and a dehumidification and air ventilation system was installed. There will not be a cool air conditioned system installed, but a system that will dehumidify the air and push it through the house. This will better protect the furnishings from mold and mildew and provide a cooling effect for summer visitors to the home.

The park's information center and bookstore in the ground floor of the Sandburg Home will remain open throughout the work. The upstairs will remain open for tours during the refurnishing. To best plan your visit, please contact the park for up-to-date information on work that is underway and any changes in tour schedules.

This work is being completed through project funding made available to National Parks for the repair and rehabilitation of historic features and the preservation of cultural resources. The funding will be made available in phases and is reflected in the timeline below for work to be completed.

Work completed in 2016:

  • All windows were removed, paint removed and rotted wood from sashes and frames was repaired. Windows were repainted and reinstalled.
  • The conservatory on the east side of the home was rebuilt.
  • The exterior of the house was repainted (this included replacing gutters and repairing deteriorated siding)
  • Planning and design work was completed for the installation of a ventilation and dehumidification system in 2017.

Work completed in 2017:

  • Repair of architectural features.
  • Installation of ventilation and dehumidification system.
  • Interior walls painted and floors refinished (as needed).


  • Refurnishing the Sandburg Home to begin in July 2018.
Conservatory on east side of Sandburg Home

Conservatory (greenhouse) Rebuilding Project - Summer 2016
Repairs to the conservatory in summer 2016 included dismantling the current structure, saving any original material and rebuilding it. By nature of it being a greenhouse, the interior temperature is warm and water has penetrated the interior causing damage to the wood structure. The Sandburg's referred to this glass- enclosure off the east side of the house as the Conservatory to distinguish it from the larger greenhouse located near the vegetable garden. Built around 1930, the historic Conservatory was so badly deteriorated that it was removed by the park service sometime between June 1970 and April 1971. It was reconstructed in 1980 - 1981 and replicates most of the features found in the historic Conservatory. This 2016 rebuild included a slightly different roof design to eliminate the moisture infiltration that has caused so much deterioration in the past.

Window preservation project 2015
Window preservation work begins at Sandburg Home.

Window Conservation Work (completed fall 2016)
Preservationists from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) began work on the windows of the Sandburg Home January 2015. This work included removing all the windows from the home to repair deteriorated wood and reglazing the glass panes. This image shows employees from HPTC working under the carport at the Sandburg Home on the ground floor windows.

View of barn from pasture
Learn more about preservation work at the barn complex here.

Last updated: October 5, 2018

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Mailing Address:

81 Carl Sandburg Lane
Flat Rock, NC 28731


(828) 693-4178

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