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Preservation specialist repairs section of chimney.
HACE preservation specialist repairs section of the north chimney of Quarters No. 1.

NPS photo

Quarters No. 1 -
Exterior Preservation Project

The National Park Service in November started a multi-year exterior preservation project on Quarters No. 1. The project will be managed by the NPS Historic Architecture Conservation and Engineering Center (HACE) which performs historic preservation work for the NPS in the Northeast Region. There will be a HACE Preservation Crew onsite for the duration of the work consisting of preservation specialists and hands-on craftspeople. The will be assisted by historic architects and conservators from the HACE headquarters in Lowell, MA.

Quarters No. 1 was the first permanent structure erected by the US Army on Fort Monroe and was built for the commanding officer, though it housed the engineers during construction of the fort. Many well-known figures in history have walked through the doors of Quarters No. 1, including soldiers, diplomats, politicians, and statesmen. The Marquis de Lafayette stayed in these quarters in 1824 during his tour of the United States. During the American Civil War, in 1861, Major General Benjamin Butler occupied these quarters where he made the pivotal “Contraband Decision.” One year later in 1862 President Abraham Lincoln stayed in Quarters No. 1 while planning the Union attack on Norfolk, VA.

The current preservation project will focus on the exterior of the building. Preservation work is planned in three areas at this time: the exterior masonry; the front porches and stairs; and the solarium on the rear of the house. Historic architects have also started the investigation and research for a Historic Structures Report (HSR) which will provide guidance on treatment and use of the building.

The HACE crew has begun working on the chimney on the north side of the structure - repairing cracks, damaged brick, and replacing lost mortar using historically appropriate techniques, materials. The work undertaken by the crew will be guided by the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. ( Crew members are also assisting the HSR team with investigation and documentation of the front porch and solarium.

Check back for the latest information as we continue to work on the chimneys and begin work on the solarium.

Last updated: February 15, 2017

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