Coffeehouse Conversations 9 - A Historic Interior

We've just posted the ninth video in our Coffeehouse Conversations series. This episode is entitled A Historic Interior, and features Ronald Hurst, who is Vice President and Chief Curator of Collections, Conservation, and Museums.

In the video, Ron discusses the research and other work that goes in to furnishing a historic interior, as well as going into a bit more detail about the differences between rooms of the Coffeehouse and the manner in which the building would have operated. Coffeehouse Conversations is produced by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's division of Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures.

The video is 4 minutes and 39 seconds in length, and requires Adobe Flash® to view. If you don't have Adobe Flash installed, you can download a free version from Adobe's website.

Coffeehouse Conversations 8 - Plaster Works

We've just posted the eighth video in our Coffeehouse Conversations series. This episode is entitled Plaster Works, and it features Conservator of Architecture Matthew Webster; it also shows members of the Historic Masonry Trades Staff, bricklayers from the Maintenance Department, and members of the Conservation team.

In the video, Matt describes the process of acquiring lime from oyster shells, and then goes on to explain the composition and application of plaster in the Coffeehouse. Coffeehouse Conversations is produced by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's division of Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures.

The video is 6 minutes and 13 seconds in length, and requires Adobe Flash® to view. If you don't have Adobe Flash installed, you can download a free version from Adobe's website.

HearSay with Cathy Lewis

For those who have noticed today's activity on the Coffeehouse webcam, we wanted to explain the cause; today, WHRV's radio show “HearSay with Cathy Lewis” will be broadcast live from the Coffeehouse, from noon until one p.m. Cathy's guests include a number of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation staff involved in the reconstruction, including Foundation President Colin Campbell and Vice President of Research & Historical Interpretation Jim Horn; Jeanne Zeidler, the Mayor of the City of Williamsburg, will also be featured.

If you're local, the show can be heard on 89.5 FM; if not, you can listen through live streaming here - http://www.whro.org/home/html/liveradio/895.html

For more information, try WHRV's home page, or the HearSay website, where you should be able to listen to the recorded broadcast when it is posted in a few days.

We'd like to thank everyone involved with Hearsay for joining us today, to start off this very exciting week at the Coffeehouse.

Miscellaneous Information

Greetings. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some Coffeehouse-related information and links that have come up recently.

First off, if you haven’t noticed, we’ve been moving the webcam around lately. After a stint watching furnishings being put in place in the coffee (southwest) room, and watching wallpaper be installed in the dining (southeast) room, the webcam is now located in the kitchen (in the basement). You can see some of the recent furnishing additions to the room on the shelves and around the fireplace.

Secondly, one of our frequent blog commenters was looking for a bit more information on the staining of the bricks mentioned in the October 26th Update. The substance that Ray Cannetti is using is called Dyebrick, which is essentially a mineral-based stain. It uses minerals, primarily iron oxide, as the pigment, and potassium silicate as the binder. The potassium silicate binds with elements in the brick, allowing it to stain rather than simply coat the brick.

Though they date from the same period, the reused bricks (those original Coffeehouse bricks that had been reused in the Armistead House foundations, and in turn reused in our foundations) received more cleaning than those in the still standing original foundations - thus requiring the staining to match them appropriately. Previously, Colonial Williamsburg has used coffee grounds, tea, and a mixture of lime putty and brick dust to mask repairs in the past. (Thanks to Clyde Kestner and Matt Webster for the information)

Third, we wanted to share a few more interesting links from History.org that relate to the Coffeehouse:

Lastly, we are including two images of the wallpaper that will be going up in the Coffeehouse, in the Dining (southeast) and Back (north) rooms on the first floor.

October 26th Update

Here's a list of work both recent and soon-to-occur at the Coffeehouse. This time, we’ve posted even more photos, including a few from earlier in October.

Last two weeks of work

  • Completed hanging doors
  • Continued installing hardware
  • Installed stone steps at porch and cellar kitchen door
  • Continued interior painting
  • Installed two additional shelves in west passage
  • Installed five leaded glass casement windows and four interior shutters in cellar
  • Repaired plaster and then whitewashed porch ceiling
  • Hand scraped floors
  • Completed paving at front porch and repairs to main sidewalk
  • Installed stainless steel shelving in servery
  • Installed dishwasher in servery
  • Closed-in dumbwaiter shaft in cellar
  • Completed fabrication and installed three benches for front porch
  • Fabricated dresser (offsite) for kitchen and installed

Next two weeks of scheduled work

  • Install handrails at front step and ADA ramp
  • Install handrails at interior stair winders
  • Complete hand scraping floors and stair treads
  • Repair plaster and re-whitewash where additional shelves installed at west passage
  • Complete installation of all door locks and hardware
  • Install grab bars and mirror in restroom
  • Complete painting and touchup interior and exterior
  • Install sign post
  • Install audio system and put into operation
  • Fabricate and install pales and gate on east yard fence and apply finish
  • Install post light
  • Install telephones
  • Install carpet and wall paper
  • Begin installing furnishings
  • Replace glass in lanterns with blown glass
  • Remove portion of gravel and install crushed shells on path to cellar doors
  • Remove post and rail fence along west side of path and relocate portions as directed
  • Repair path to Revolutionary City seating area

Photos by Clyde Kestner and Joshua Muse

Opening Program and Ceremony

To all Coffeehouse enthusiasts, we just wanted to share a bit more information about the opening of the Coffeehouse. The Opening Program and Ceremony is going to take place on Friday, November 20th, at 4 p.m., though the building will be opening to the public the next morning. We'll have more details on the Program as they become available. Here’s a link to the official announcement.

Photo by Peter Inker.

October 12th Update

Here's a list of work both recent and soon-to-occur at the Coffeehouse. We’ve tried to include more photos this time, to better showcase the recent construction.

Last two weeks of work

  • Continued painting throughout on first and second floors
  • Continued installing doors and hardware
  • Completed final site grading, sod, seed and straw
  • Installed gravel paths from Revolutionary City path to cellar doors
  • Installed the remainder of double hung windows and shutters
  • Installed custom stainless steel servery equipment
  • Installed ceiling tiles in servery
  • Installed lighting fixtures
  • Closed in dumbwaiter shaft at bar
  • Installed plumbing fixtures in servery and restroom
  • Installed east fence posts and rails
  • Removed and reset pavers in main sidewalk in front of building
  • Excavated and poured concrete footers for the sign post, post light and two stone steps
  • Installed pavers for front walk and two stone steps
  • Installed dampers in kitchen fireplace
  • Put plumbing systems into operation
  • Completed conventional smoke detection system in cellar and security system

Next two weeks of scheduled work

  • Complete hanging doors and installing hardware
  • Complete interior painting
  • Install five leaded glass casement windows in cellar
  • Whitewash porch ceiling
  • Complete paving at front porch and repairs to main sidewalk
  • Startup HVAC systems
  • Close-in dumbwaiter shaft in cellar
  • Complete east yard fence and apply “red tar” finish
  • Install sign post
  • Install audio system
  • Cleanup interior
  • Install landscape plantings
  • Complete fabrication of three benches for front porch
  • Fabricate dresser (offsite) for kitchen

Photos by Joshua Muse

Daily Press Article

We just wanted to mention that the Virginia paper the Daily Press recently posted an article on the reconstruction of Charlton's Coffeehouse. The article has a good amount of information, and includes Vice President for Research and Historical Interpretation Jim Horn, and Roberts Director of the Department of Architectural and Archaeological Research Ed Chappell.

Here's the link.

Room Names

As a small update, we just wanted to share the official names for the rooms throughout the Coffeehouse. On the first floor, the front rooms are named for their uses, while the room in the back is named for its location. The rooms on the second floor are named by what room they are located above, while the rooms in the basement are self explanatory.

More Photos:

Coffeehouse Conversations 7 - Stimulating Brews

We've just posted the seventh video in our Coffeehouse Conversations series. This episode is entitled Stimulating Brews, and it features members of our Historic Foodways department discussing the new environment and beverages of a coffeehouse.

The video includes Frank Clark, Jim Gay, and Robert Brantley, who describe the consumption of coffee, tea, and chocolate in the colonies, including some of their economic and political ramifications. It was produced by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's division of Productions, Publications, and Learning Ventures.

The video is 2 minutes and 34 seconds in length, and requires Adobe Flash® to view. If you don't have Adobe Flash installed, you can download a free version from Adobe's website.

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