Ballantine House Restoration

Newark, NJ

The Ballantine House was built in 1885 for the wealthy owners of P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company in Newark, NJ. The 27- room house was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1985. It has since been a part of the Newark Museum, where it is toured by countless visitors each year.

Based on a comprehensive condition assessment, the Ballantine House underwent a multi-year restoration effort. During Phase I, many of the most visible cracks, stains, and areas of loss were addressed. Interior surfaces were aqueously cleaned, damage to wood and plaster was addressed, and the delaminating canvas on the ceilings and the Lincrusta wallpaper were repaired and inpainted.

Phase II including continued cleaning of he remaining surfaces, tile repair on the fireplaces, wood touch-ups and restaining, repair of the decorative plaster, paint touch-ups, and conservation treatments of the chandeliers and metal wall sconces. Select wood elements were cleaned in all rooms, including doors, pocket doors, cornices, baseboards, bookcases, wainscoting, window wells, cabinets, and staircase features. Severely damaged areas of wooden elements were replicated in kind, such as the wood cornice dentils. Plaster restoration included the removal of all damaged or degraded plaster material until solid plaster was reached. Cracks were patched, finished smooth, and leveled with the surrounding surface. Damage from water infiltration was repaired and stained areas refinished.

15 of the rooms required extensive plaster repairs. The Parlor’s applique plaster ceiling, a technique where plaster ornament is mounted to canvas and adhered to a substrate, required stabilization. Several areas of damaged Lincrusta wallpaper were infilled with plaster and refinished. Conservators utilized carving tools to mimic the textured design on the Dining Room wall. A detailed maintenance provided to The Newark Museum guides ongoing care of the interior decorative finishes, ensuring the preservation of Newark’s rich history.