Sutherland Conservation & Consulting (SCC) provides historic preservation and architectural conservation services for commercial, governmental, historic homeowner and non-profit clients. Our expertise includes federal and state Historic Tax Credits, National Register, HABS/HAER and Maine Historic Building Record documentation, preservation and restoration planning, historic interiors and paint analysis.
Gerald Hotel, Fairfield, Maine
Certified by the National Park Service for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits in January 2014, the Gerald Hotel in Fairfield, Maine was rehabilitated by KVCAP for use as affordable elderly housing. Sutherland Conservation & Consulting was the historic consultant for this project working with project architect Goduti/Thomas Architects of Portland and the Sheridan Corporation of Fairfield as the general contractor.
Gerald Amos, a successful and visionary Maine businessman constructed the Gerald Hotel in 1899-1900. Designed by noted Lewiston, Maine architect William R. Millar employing an opulent Renaissance Revival style popular at that time in the United States, the hotel was built with a degree of extravagance and detail more common to larger hotels in major urban centers. The hotel operated from 1900 to circa 1937 and featured many amenities including a writing room, billiard room, ladies parlor, and the grand dining room, which was the centerpiece of the interior.
As the Gerald Hotel slipped past its centennial year, the dining room had become visually incoherent due to alterations, neglect and a number or repainting campaigns in response to changes in color taste through the 20th century. The rehabilitation of the building by a new owner and the structural repairs necessary to stabilize and reinforce the ceiling together provided the catalyst for the restoration of the grand dining room.
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT RESTORES HISTORIC FINISHES
Sutherland Conservation & Consulting had the pleasure of working closely with Tony Castro & Company throughout the restoration of the grand dining room to its near original appearance in 1900. Following the structural repairs, the interior finishes restoration was undertaken by Tony Castro & Company collaborating with Jon Sampson of Sampson Company from Portland on the plasterwork, painting conservator Lauren Lewis of Lewis Conservation Services in Thomaston, and Amy Cole Ives, Scott Hanson and Matt Corbett of Sutherland Conservation & Consulting for paint analysis and research.
Jon Sampson recast missing and damaged decorative plaster units and Tony Castro repaired plaster pieces for reinstallation where possible. Painting conservator Lauren Lewis consolidated and stabilized the murals that had been damaged by water and environmental factors and developed a cleaning program with Tony Castro to provide a minimally cleaned appearance that would be compatible with the surrounding surfaces when they were repainted. Sutherland Conservation & Consulting provided the archival research on the Gerald Hotel and mural painter H.C. Aiken, completed cross-section microscopy paint analysis to identify the multiple repainting campaigns and color match the original paint scheme and assisted with the mock-up of the original paint scheme.