Completed restoration of balustrades (railing) at upper part of towers, 2009. Photo: DP
Balustrades

Rotten Balustrades
While restoring the towers in the early 2000’s, the balustrades under the cupolas were removed. Not only were they rotten, but they were flimsy 2 x 4-inch wood replacements of the balustrades from the 1960’s.

Creating Replicas
Since none of the original turned spindle form balustrades existed, the goal was to create replicas as true to the originals as possible. To accomplish this, restorers analyzed an original 1910 photograph. The size and profile of the curves of each spindle form was measured by comparing sizes with the known dimension of windowpanes. The spindle forms are 5x5x13-inches. The circumference of each tower is 14-feet by 14-feet with 106 turnings in total. Turned in cedar, the spindles were primed twice in oil-based primer, followed by two coats of latex paint using the original gold color. The balustrades were constructed in the workshop, hoisted by hand on to the towers, and mounted in place. Mounting finials of the original design were placed on the eight corner posts and a final coat of paint provides a protective seal. The work on the balustrades was completed in 2009.

Funders and Supporters

  • Maine Historic Preservation Commission
  • Private Donors

Team

  • Terry Helms
  • Jeremy Chassé