His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety’s preser­va­tion plan com­pleted

Record Observer - - NEWS -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety is pleased to an­nounce it re­ceived a pres­ti­gious Preser­va­tion Grant by the Na­tional Trust for His­toric Preser­va­tion — awarded late 2014 — to com­plete much needed his­toric struc­ture re­ports on Tucker House and Wright’s Chance lo­cated in his­toric Cen­tre­ville. The grant paid for de­tailed anal­y­sis and de­sign work that was car­ried out dur­ing 2015 by Bar­ton Ross & Part­ners, LLC Ar­chi­tects.

The His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety said the project was suc­cess­ful, al­low­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion to cre­ate a com­plete his­tory of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety prop­er­ties and a valu­able plan for their con­tin­ued main­te­nance and preser­va­tion. His­toric ar­chi­tect Bar­ton Ross pre­pared a 557page re­port that in­cluded anal­y­sis of Tucker House, Wright’s Chance and the McKen­ney ceme­tery prop­erty out­side of town. This Preser­va­tion Plan ex­am­ined cur­rent con­di­tions by pri­or­i­tiz­ing ur­gent main­te­nance prob­lems and looked to the fu­ture with plans for his­tor­i­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tion and ex­panded use by the pub­lic. The Plan also in­cluded a de­vel­op­men­tal his­tory for each of the houses us­ing ar­chi­tec­tural draw­ings and pro­vided rec­om­men­da­tions for re­pairs with cost es­ti­mates.

One of the more sur­pris­ing re­ports came from Michael Worthington, the den­drochronol­ogy ex­pert on the project. Worthington was able to ex­tract four sam­ples from the cel­lar tim­bers and roof rafters of Wright’s Chance to date in his lab­o­ra­tory. Two of the sam­ples had com­plete sap­wood and pro­vided a felling date for the sum­mer of 1793. Ross con­curred that ar­chi­tec­turally Wright’s Chance was con­sis­tent with a 1790’s date of con­struc­tion and that ver y likely the house was con­structed in 1794, fol­low­ing a cus­tom­ary year of wood sea­son­ing by air drying. This re­vised date of con­struc­tion will re­quire new in­ter­pre­tive think­ing on the part of the so­ci­ety, as pre­vi­ously it was be­lieved that the house was built some 50 years ear­lier, in 1744.

The Plan’s rec­om­men­da­tions for preser­va­tion will serve as a valu­able tool to guide the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety in the pro­fes­sional stew­ard­ship of the prop­er­ties. The So­ci­ety hopes to use the Preser­va­tion Plan — in con­junc­tion with their 2020 Strate­gic Plan — as a vi­sion or blue­print to as­sist in pro­posed al­ter­ations at the prop­er­ties, fu­ture grant plan­ning, mar­ket­ing, and fundrais­ing ef­forts over the next few years.

Ac­cord­ing to the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety, grants like th­ese from the Na­tional Trust Preser­va­tion Funds have pro­vided more than $15 mil­lion in as­sis­tance since 2003 to sim­i­lar projects. The match­ing grants are awarded to non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions and pub­lic agen­cies across the coun­try to sup­port wide-rang­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing con­sul­tant ser­vices for re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing build­ings, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance for tourism that pro­motes his­toric re­sources, and the devel­op­ment of ma­te­ri­als for ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach cam­paigns.

Wright’s Chance is one of the his­tor­i­cal prop­er­ties in Cen­tre­ville main­tained by the Queen Anne’s County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

Brick work — with date 1744 — in­cor­po­rated into the side of his­tor­i­cal prop­erty Wright’s Chance.

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