Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Committee Member

Dr. Carter L. Hudgins, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Stephanie Crette

Committee Member

Frances H. Ford

Abstract

Lyndhurst Mansion, located in Tarrytown, New York is a masterpiece of American Gothic Revival architecture designed by Alexander Jackson Davis beginning in 1838. Since its acquisition by the National Trust in 1961, the property has carried out a number of repairs to the mansion and other buildings on the estate in which a substitute material was chosen over an in-kind material. Financial constraints appear to be the driving force behind these decisions. Other factors, durability of materials and preservation philosophy, also played a role. An aim of this thesis is to determine the role these factors played in choosing methods and materials used in these repairs. Another aim is to assess the success of the substitute method compared to in-kind repair. Research conducted in Lyndhurst's archives as well as interviews with current and past employees provided narrative data regarding the decision making process, while assessment of five case studies provided insight into the effectiveness of the decisions. Findings concluded that cost often outweighed the other considerations when choosing a repair method and materials. Substitute materials at Lyndhurst proved overall to be inferior to those of an in-kind replacement. The findings serve as an example of the financial challenges facing many historic sites.

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