Blair–Lee House

Washington, DC

Foreign visitors to The White House often stay at the Blair House, an ensemble of early 19th century brick stone buildings across from the Old Executive Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Blair House complex consists of the Blair House and the adjacent Lee House. Both houses have gone through substantial changes over time.

After the Washington, DC earthquake in 2011, a survey of the damages revealed structural conditions that required remedial interventions.

Our conservators worked with the OLBN’s design-build team, providing quality control and consulting services for the conservation. Work included the review of documents, submittals, bids, and RFIs, surveys, conditions assessments, and mock-ups to ensure that conservation standards were met and to prepare detailed documentation.

In addition to the quality control and oversight, our team conducted material testing and analysis on various interior and exterior finishes to consult on the selection of restoration materials, means and methods. Further research included paint analysis of the exterior renders, mortar and brick testing, and wallpaper studies. An important part of this project included working with the engineer to minimize the impact of structural reinforcements on historic building materials and decorative finishes, including the 18th century Chinese wallpaper.