The Music Hall

Portsmouth, NH

In 2007 EverGreene conservators arrived at this 1878 theater ready to complete a routine paint study. Once we began to remove the white paint, we discovered original, undocumented Victorian designs which had been buried under many, many paint layers.

Because the theater didn’t know the Victorian design existed…the cost for restoring the entire ceiling paint to its historical design was not in the budget. But, we had a solution.

We traced the ornament, and developed the color palette that would honor the original designs, and devised an economical solution to restore the original scheme. We hand painted portions of the Victorian quatrefoils and other designs actual size in our New York studio, replicated them digitally onto printed canvas, installed the canvases, and applied hand painted finishes and touch ups. The result? An affordable solution to long-lost decoration.

Architect: John W. Merkle, AIA

Auditorium after restoration

Auditorium after restoration

Exposure window on main ceiling

Auditorium before restoration

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