Hegeler Carus Mansion

LaSalle, IL

This 1874 Second Empire mansion was built by Chicago architect W. W. Boyington for the La Salle industrialist Edward C. Hegeler. Several ceilings were elaborately painted with stylized stencils, including hand-painted decoration by August Fiedler. Motifs used in Fiedler’s decorative painting are representative of High Victorian aesthetic. EverGreene was engaged to expose and conserve Fiedler’s original decorative painting on the reception room ceiling.

We began our assessment with determining the current condition of the ceiling murals and investigating the structure and materials. We then identified the extent and cause of alteration and deterioration and performed cleaning and treatment tests to confirm the most effective and non‐invasive procedures. We photographically documented the pre‐treatment conditions and began conserving the decorative painting. Conservation work encompassed removing non‐original overpaint, stabilizing areas of flaking paint and plaster, and repairing and replacing missing flat and ornamental plaster.

Our team conserved the ceiling medallions, molding, cornice and center ceiling panels. Additionally, we retouched conserved panels using reversible conservation paints and repainted original colors and motifs, including trompe l’oeil. Gilding was reinstated using 23K gold leaf and metallic paint.

The Hegeler Carus Mansion is a National Historic Landmark and operated by the Hegeler Carus Foundation, who leads public programs and tours of the historic site.