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Restoration of the Old Naval Hospital

Update - December 19, 2005

Restoration of Doors Underway

Restoration of the doors on the south side of the building got underway during this past week. The first work was to scrape the paint from the surface of the doors, the side windows and the framing. The basement door will not be restored, but will be refabricated since what is there is mostly not original and what little that is original is in very poor shape.

The door restoration will mainly be done in place although the door panels themselves may be taken off to be worked on. That work will be done on site just as the window work is being done.

There were two discoveries made as the doors were being cleaned and scraped and the hardware dismantled. The original color of the doors was found under some of the hardware. It is a beautiful barn red with a surface so smooth as to look like metal. This paint will be analyzed through a paint chip to see if that is the original paint and also to see if there were other coats beneath it. The analysis will also yield the exact color and texture so that the restored doors can then be brought back to their original luster.

The workers also discovered a voice tube in the door frame, that was not noted before since it was mainly blocked and painted over. A clear outline of a frame over it was found beneath the top coatings on the inside of the door frame. It will be documented and noted, but just covered over for the time being, until some research can be done to establish what it would have looked like and what hardware would be associated with it.

After the door was cleaned of paint though meticulous scraping, the door frame was found to have some significant damage to it with gouged out areas. That is being repaired with epoxy filling and sanded into the original shape before priming and painting. All the hardware will be removed and what can be reused, will be thoroughly cleaned and restored and reinstalled.

Some modifications are inevitable since a level of security will need to be attained. However, that will be done with a minimum of change and should not really be noticeable.

The wood on the doors is in remarkable good shape as can clearly be seen on the photos. There will be minimal patching that will need to be done to restore the original design. Some work is required where locks were put in and other modifications were made, but these will not be major nor will they be noticed when the doors are completed.

This site is sponsored by the Friends of the Old Naval Hospital

Last updated November 11, 2008