Tudor Place Historic House

Washington, DC

Tudor Place is one of Washington’s best-known historic house and gardens. Located in Georgetown Heights and completed in 1816, the house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, the self-trained architect of the first US Capitol. Its owner, the Peter family — direct relations of Martha Washington — owned the house and its property until 1983. It is a National Historic Landmark, and one of Washington’s most significant homes and gardens.

The property’s 31st Street entrance is marked by an iconic entryway composed of limestone and brick piers and a decorative wrought iron auto gate and foot gate. The gates’ protective paint had begun to fail from age and attack by de-icing salts, exposing the original iron to deterioration. Decorative features had been stolen and the gates no longer operated well due to wear.

In 2012, our conservators were hired to specify, coordinate and oversee the full restoration of the ironwork at the 31st Street entrance. Work consisted of removing the gates in their entirety to an off-site facility for preparation and coating in a controlled environment. Elements in need of replication were cast new using in-kind materials. Failed connections were welded. All existing ironwork was prepared according to SSPC10, ‘Near White Metal’, and then metallized with zinc thermal spray prior to application of an epoxy mid-coat and a flouropolymer finish coat. In addition to re-coating the metalwork, new stainless steel hinge pins were fabricated and installed for the massive auto gates and the foot gate. Installation was coordinated with existing security systems.