Thomas McDowell, PA; AIC Architectural Conservator
Thomas McDowell provided design/build services for renovations and restoration of the Managers house, the Jockeys Barracks, Conference Center and the Stone Barn/Track. The mid 19th century timber frame dwelling was completely restored including baths and kitchens – all original intact historic features and fittings were conserved, restored and reused for the farm managers dwelling. An historic jockey’s barracks near the track was redesigned and adaptively reused as three farm worker family apartments while maintaining the historic exterior. Significant structural renovations and restoration were undertaken to rehabilitate the ¼ mile track housed inside the stone barn. Xalapa Farm remains one of the most beautiful horse farms in the US.
Preservation Projects - Farm Buildings
KENTUCIANA FARM - THE MATTHEW FLOURNOY HOUSE - Scott County, KY - Award Winner
Mr. McDowell provided design/build services to rescue an abandoned Ante Bellum era, Kentucky plantation house that had grown accretionary from the remains of an eighteenth century pioneer settlement (Flournoy Fort). In the 1830’s a Greek Revival “mansion house” was added to the front forming an ell – with the early stone portion now assuming the service functions. RGI provided preservation/conservation design and project administration to completely restore the structure for reuse as a major horse farm business office.
As a result of a long abandonment and deferred maintenance, areas of the roof had collapsed causing loss and deterioration of original fabric. Interior and exterior details were conserved, restored or recreated from above ground archeological investigations.
The grand front portico was reconstructed according to evidence teased out of paint “ghosts” and other information retained in the historic brickwork. All original decayed woodwork was consolidated, missing sections being rebuilt using epoxy putties which were carved to match adjoining substrates. Decorative features that were completely missing were duplicated by recasting the originals. Installation of new MEP equipment was detailed and routed to cause the least disruption of historic fabric. In addition to work on the main building, a limestone ruin adjacent to and Ghosts of paint lines recording the configuration and detailing of the original portico were teased out of the brickwork. This information along with examination of similar historic prototypes in the area and the recovery (subsurface) of surviving original features allowed an authentic reconstruction of the original Greek Revival portico. also part of the fort, was stabilized for use as an outdoor dining area and meeting place, weather permiting. As the Preservation Consultant for the project Thomas McDowell also successfully filed for the 20% Investment Tax Credit - saving the owners well over $100,000.00. Ghosts of paint lines recording the configuration and detailing of the original portico were teased out of the brickwork. This information along with examination of similar historic prototypes in the area and the recovery (subsurface) of surviving original features allowed an authentic reconstruction of the original Greek Revival portico.
The missing “Temple of the Winds” capital at left was found rotting and frozen in the mud near the front entry. With deep epoxy consolidation proceedures it was successfully consolidated and rebuilt without loss of original fabric.