Call Collins House

Tallahassee, FL

The Call Collins House is a neoclassical, three-story residence constructed in the late 1820 or early 1830s. It is listed on the National Register. Its namesake and first resident, Richard Keith Call, was territorial governor of Florida under Andrew Jackson. Inspired by Jackson’s Hermitage, he constructed the house at The Grove. Inhabited by descendents of Call until recently, the house is now being prepared for adaptive reuse as a public resource and museum.

The house exhibited brick, mortar, plaster and decorative finishes problems, requiring the analysis of these historic materials. The exterior masonry bearing walls exhibited step cracking at window spandrels that telegraphed through the wall to interior plaster finishes. Problems with drainage from the roof and site led to a rising damp cycle affecting the basement and foundation.

We were contracted to build upon previous studies to assess the current conditions of the house and make recommendations for brick, mortar, plaster and decorative finishes conservation. As part of the assessment, crack monitors were installed on all elevations, and staff was instructed on how to interpret results. Brick and mortar samples were collected and analyzed. Paint samples were also examined to determine original finishes in a variety of locations. Working closely with a local architect and engineer as well as the State Historic Preservation Office, we carried their assessment work through to a set of bid documents.