Documenting the restoration of the Lakeport Plantation is an essential part of the restoration process. Short summaries of some of the restoration work are provided below.
Climate Control: Exterior
The Lakeport Plantation house features a state-of-the art climate control system that serves as a national Best Practices Model for historic homes. The HVAC design team was led by Ernest Conrad of Landmark Facilities Group in Norwalk, Connecticut, working with Lakeport architect Charles Witsell of WER Architects in Little Rock. Exterior components of the climate control system are quiet and invisible to visitors, with fans, pumps, compressors and other equipment located in the accurately reconstructed smokehouse. To see some images from this aspect of the restoration process, click here.
Climate Control: Interior
Lakeport’s state-of-the-art climate control system serves as a national Best Practices model for historic homes. The system is designed to maintain humidity and temperature within a close range to protect the building and its contents. Further, the intent is to give visitors an experience of “walking back in time,” with minimal noise and sight intrusions from modern equipment. To view images from this aspect of the restoration, click here.
Prior to undertaking work on each damaged door at Lakeport, historic building craftsman Ronnie Walker conducted a complete assessment, then developed a restoration plan. In all cases, care was taken to retain as much of the original fabric as possible. To find out more about this process, click here.
For 150 years Lakeport’s entry hall floorcloth provided a decorative washable surface that helped keep dirt from soiling the finer carpets beyond the entry. Common in its day, it is a rare gem in spite of much loss and wear. To see images from the restoration process, click here.
Historic Paint Analysis
The original exterior color scheme and many interior painted surfaces have been re-created based on lab analysis of 170 historic paint samples taken at Lakeport. To read more about this process and see images of the restoration, please click here.
In some cases, mantels at Lakeport were burned or severely charred by years of hard use and intense heat from the fireboxes. To view images from this aspect of the restoration, click here.
Preserving Original Decorative Finishes
Part of what makes Lakeport so intriguing is the remarkable number of original and early painted surfaces that remain intact. Many of the doors and mantels still exhibit the 150- year-old work of the original unnamed mid-19th century painter. To read about the restoration process of the original decorative finishes, click here.
Re-Creating Original Decorative Finishes
The Lakeport restoration team has sought to interpret Lakeport as a site that has evolved – not one frozen in time. Original painted surfaces have been re-created or reproduced only where they have not survived or were found to be damaged beyond reasonable restoration. To find out more, click here.
When restoration began on the Lakeport Plantation house, the rose window that once adorned the front porch pediment was painted over and damaged to the point that it was hardly noticeable. Climbing into the attic, facilities manager Ronnie Walker found the original glass from the window, along with the scalloped wood sash. To view images from this aspect of the restoration, click here.
The smokehouse was one of the most important outbuildings because it was used to preserve and store the hundreds of pounds of smoked pork that served as the principal source of meat on the plantation. To read more about this re-creation and to see images, click here.