Please note that Willard House is CLOSED to visitors at this time due to interior restoration work. Updates will be made regularly here on the home page.
Announcements and Updates
Week 3 update:
The plasterers have made tremendous progress over the past week. Work in the office and hall has been completed and the dining room and the parlor are set to be completed either by the end of this week or early next week. Some walls were so badly damaged due to the house settling that large sections of plaster had to be removed.
Below are images of how the walls and ceilings have been prepared for plaster. One method involves putting down a primer coat (the pink stuff) and a fine mesh over large cracks to give the new plaster something to cling to. The ceilings in the dining room and the upper hall were so fragile that they decided that the best course of action was to put a stabilizing metal mesh over the whole surface and then put plaster over the mesh. Those ceilings will be about a quarter inch lower, but much stronger than they were before the repair.
On the collections conservation front, the following has occurred:
- Gladys has been sent to the conservation studio Litas Liparini here in Evanston to begin work
- One roll of the Polyglot Petition has also been sent to them to test the cleaning process
- The large photo of Willard’s statue in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol is also there
- As are the 12 prints of the months of the year from the Dining Room
- The chairs in the dining room have also been picked up by Weber Furniture Service for repairs and recaning
- And, finally, Willard’s Satchel “Old Faithful” has come back from its conservation project at Restoration Division. (see related article below)
That’s it for now, but you can see that, even when we’re closed, we’re busy.
No events are scheduled due to museum restoration
Featured Collections Object
Ever wonder what Frances Willard carried around with her in the satchel she named “Old Faithful”? Pictured above are a few of the papers she had in it upon her death and includes pamphlets, a newspaper clipping, a letter, and invitations. These items remained there until recently when conservators working on the satchel discovered and removed them. Old Faithful was named such because it came with her everywhere and served her in many capacities. Not only did it carry her papers, but it also functioned as a foot rest and pillow for her during her travels.