Historic Preservation Grilles California Governor’s Mansion
Historic Preservation grilles by Beaux-Arts used for heating and air conditioning vents in the Sacramento Govenor’s Mansion. Our Arts and Crafts decorative grilles were a perfect match with the Italianate Style Mansion originally built by Albert Gallatin in 1877. California purchased the home in 1903 for $32,500. Since then it was home to 12 Governors including Earl Warren, who later became Chief Justice and Ronald Regan who was the 40th President.
Italianate style homes built in the middle of the 19th century are easy to recognize, by the repeated use of corbels joining the exterior walls and the generous overhang of the roofline. This style of home became popular in the 1840’s but normally had flat roofs. This Italianate is unusual because it has a four sided gambrel style hip roof also called a Mansard Roof. The Mansard roof was not popularized until 1856 and became synonymous with Second Empire French Architecture during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. This mansion is an outstanding combination of an Italianate façade and roofline with a delightful French Mansard style roof with gabbled windows.
Historic Reproduction Heating and Air Conditioning Grilles in Historic Buildings
If you own a historic building in the “National Register of Historic Places” you are considered the caretaker of a National Treasure. You or the owner before you may have enven donated the facade of your home to the Trust for Historic Preservation to receive generous tax credits and the designated historic plaque.
In exchange for the tax credits and historic recognition, you are expected to follow the Historic Preservation procedures exactly as outlined by the General Services Administration of the United States Government.
All historic structures were built before forced air heating and air conditioning. The GSA is very specific about how to add a new HVAC system or update an old one. In general, they require that you install a new HVAC system or update an old one. If you install a new HVAC system, it should be removable from the building without scaring the historic aspects of the building. To quote GSA, “when possible, install new systems that are reversible (removable), reuse existing holes where possible”, and “use existing interstitial spaces to conceal systems”. Duct work should be “concealed as much as possible, but DO NOT install suspended ceilings to do so.”
Historic Preservation Rules for HVAC Grilles
As for the grilles, the GSA procedures specify to “reuse original grilles where possible”. Otherwise, “specify new grilles to match original as closely as possible, in material and pattern.” This used to be very difficult. Colonial, Federal and Antelellum buildings used fireplaces in every room. There are no grilles in their original design. Historic buildings were retrofitted with heating and air conditioning in the 1950’s and early 60’s. This was before the National Historic Preservation Act was passed in 1966. Therefore, it is difficult to tell if an old grille was a historic grille found in a historic building, or if it was installed when it was built or a hundred years later.
The Historic Reproduction Arts and Crafts decorative grilles specified for the mansion restoration.
Beautiful historic interior.
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