The U.S. Department of the Interior states that the preservation of buildings is “the process of applying measures necessary to sustain the existing form, integrity and materials of an historic property.” Using minimally invasive approaches, we are taking measures to protect, stabilize, maintain, and repair the Olson House, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011.
1992 Condition assessment
1993 Windows condition survey
1994 Shed and kitchen roof shingles replacement
1997 Conditions survey report
1999 Stone foundation repairs
2007 Window repairs
2010 Interior environmental assessment
2012 Chimney flashing and caps
2015 Fire supression system project
Exterior clapboards repair and replacements
2019 New shingled roof
2021 HSR initiated and completed
Windows exterior: Paint testing
Clapboards: Testing for exterior finish
Central chimney shoring and repair
Upgrades to fire supression system
Historic Structures Report
In 2020, the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior awarded the museum a Save America’s Treasures Grant. Along with support provided by the museum, the grant funded the first-ever Historic Structures Report (HSR) to be conducted for the Olson House. This report identifies a prioritized sequence of preservation projects for the site and offers a vision for its future.
A team of consultants completed the HSR between April and December 2021. Consultants included:
- Historic Building Architects, LLC (Preservation Architects, Conservators & Team Leader)
- Robert Silman Associates, PC (Structural Engineers)
- Landmark Facilities Group Inc. (Mechanical, Electirical, and Plumbing Engineers)
- Past Design (Historian & Historic Landscape Consultant)
- Atksinson-Noland & Associates (Non-Destructive Evaluation)
- Anthony & Associates (Wood Scientist)
- Richard Veit Archeologist, LLC (Dendrochronologist)
- CHA Consulting (Cost Estimators)
- Preserve the renovation from the 1970s.
- Respect and interpret the changes to the Olson House based on the research and documentation developed as part of the HSR.
- Treat the landmark as an important part of the Farnsworth’s collection.
- Preserve the house without excessive restoration, allowing evidence of its weathering over time to remain and balancing this aesthetic with the need to conserve this historic building.
- The Farnsworth’s Board of Trustees, Building and Grounds Committee, and Staff continue to engage in the planning for future preservation efforts.