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Seeing the Importance in the Smallest Details… It’s How Wohlsen Works

Posted in: News on October 17, 2016

Rock Ford PlantationThe Rock Ford Restoration

The Rock Ford Plantation restoration required Wohlsen to use inventive techniques to safely restore the characteristics of this 200-year-old house. Centuries of mistreatment had to be painstakingly removed to fully restore the Georgian-style mansion back to its former glory. Craftsmen carefully scraped off layers of old paint from the walls with brick hammers, climber picks and cold chisels. They did this meticulously, exposing the original features of the house from below the layers of paint and plaster. In a fashion similar to the building’s 18th-century builders, Wohlsen’s craftsmen replaced the millwork by hand.

As all the best restorations show, no detail was too small for the project team – right down to the hand-made iron nails. Craftsmen replaced 1,300 windowpanes throughout the house. However, not included in the ones they replaced was the one into which General Hand’s son John carved his name. Some say that the mischievous child did this with a piece of his mother’s jewelry over 200 years ago.

In 1960, this meticulously-restored house earned the national project of the year award. The project team completed the restoration work so well that the judges couldn’t tell which portions of the house were restored and original.

Thank you to the Junior League of Lancaster for preserving this notable historic landmark. As a result, experts know Rock Ford Plantation as one of the leading examples of Georgian architecture in Pennsylvania due to the historic mansion’s spectacular condition. Today, General Hand’s house and grounds serve as a museum for Lancaster.

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