The historic 1891
Assisted by the North Brevard Heritage Foundation, Brevard County received a $350,000 Special Category Grant for historic restoration from the Florida Historic Commission in 2006. Funding provided much needed resources to start priority work, which was identified by an assessment architect. An additional $80,000 was appropriated by the Brevard County Commission to begin the stabilization of the house.
Historic restoration is not "just another construction job!" Special knowledge and skills are required to ensure that historic replication and restoration methods are done properly. Restoration work was undertaken under the direction of Kenneth Smith Architects, Inc., a historic restoration architectural company, in compliance with The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, with necessary modifications for building code and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliances. The majority of restoration work was accomplished between 2006-2010.
FLOORING & WOODWORK: The heart pine tongue and groove flooring (with few exceptions) and woodwork are original and have been refinished. NBHF Volunteers aided in cleaning and staining doors and woodwork. Vintage heart pine flooring salvaged from other structures by NBHF volunteers, has replaced other flooring materials in the kitchen, hallway between kitchen and dining room and upstairs bathroom.
WINDOWS & SCREENS: Most of the windows are original, many with original glass panes. They are weighted and operate on cords and pulleys. Window screens are half screens that run on wood slides approximately _ inch wide, located on each side of the window frame. Each corner of the screen has a decorative embossed metal corner bracket. NBHF volunteers repaired window screen frames and hardware, re-screened with copper screening and re-installed, repaired and re-corded windows, scraped and painted exterior window frames.
DOOR HARDWARE: Door hinges, key plates and pins are original decorative embossed metal. The door knobs with back plates and locks are original and have been restored by NBHF volunteers. Most of the original skeleton door keys have been retained and are usable.
ORIGINAL LIGHT FIXTURES: Four original light fixtures are still in the house, and three are ceiling fixtures made of "roped" brass. One is the fixture in the entrance hall with its original etched glass shades, another is a hanging fixture in the maid's bedroom with only the bare light bulb, as seen today, and the third is in the ceiling light in the dining room china closet. An original painted metal wall-mounted fixture and glass shade remains on the north wall in the master bedroom. All have been rewired and restored. Other vintage lighting fixtures have been donated and/or purchased by the North Brevard Heritage Foundation.
FIREPLACE MANTELS: The fireplace mantels were removed, cleaned and refinished by a local antique restoration company with funding provided by a Quester's International organization historic preservation grant.
ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS OF INTERIOR REHABILITATION INCLUDED wall and ceiling repair and re-plastering, installation of new electrical wiring & plumbing throughout the house, wall and under floor insulation and other miscellaneous work items as described.
FIRST FLOOR consists of the main entrance hall, stairway to second floor, parlor, dining room, kitchen & stairway that ascends to the maid's room, and a latticed back porch.
ENTRANCE HALL: You enter the house into the main entrance hall through the original double front entrance doors that have frosted glass window panes etched with the letter "P". An ornate fireplace mantel with tiled hearth flooring is in the southwest corner. The stairway to the second floor features a newel post with built-in light fixture. An original 3-armed brass roped lighting fixture with frosted etched glass globes hangs from the ceiling and has been rewired.
THE PARLOR: Entrance is through two large sliding pocket doors with original decorative metal hardware. A mirrored oak fireplace mantel is accented with colorful tiled hearth flooring. Original wallpaper was deteriorated on the ceiling and walls of the parlor and removed to install electrical wiring and repair and re-plaster damaged walls. Samples of original wallpapers are archived for future reference.
THE DINING ROOM: A fireplace with a simpler mantel design and tiled hearth flooring is located to the left of the doorway. There are two closets on the north wall, one was used as "china closet" and the other as a pantry. A hallway (which no longer exists) was located north of the dining room and served as a passageway between the kitchen and parlor to avoid going through the dining room and for storage. This area was converted to house the downstairs A/C HAVC unit and ADA-compliant bathroom.
THE KITCHEN: It was originally separated from the main living area by an open passage on the ground floor that ran north to south. Shortly after the house was built, it was closed in with an entrance door on the south side and a window on the north side. A narrow stairway ascends from the kitchen to the maid's room above. Originally there was a pitcher pump and dry sink on the north wall of the kitchen, pumping water from the cistern located on the north side of the house near the kitchen. A large sink was installed with the advent of running water in the 1920's, and has been refurbished. There were no built-in cabinets in the kitchen and a work table was under the west window. Custom cabinets were built and installed using the small corner cabinet as a model. A chimney flue cover for a cook stove is still intact on the west wall. A single light bulb hung from the ceiling and original knob-and-tube wiring can be seen on the kitchen ceiling. The original latticed porch located on the west (back) end of the house provided privacy and was a place to do laundry. It has been refurbished with new porch flooring and roof.
SECOND FLOOR consists of four bedrooms, the maid's room, and the original bathroom.
BEDROOMS: Both the master bedroom and south front bedroom have doors that open onto the outdoor balcony. Notes on the original plans show that a window in the front south side bedroom was changed to a door. There are built-in closets with original shelving and clothes hooks in all bedrooms. The master bedroom has the only fireplace on the second floor and was bricked up while Captain Pritchard was still alive because it did not have a good draw, causing smoke. The embossed metal maid's bell is still mounted on the wall in the master bedroom. The other bedrooms were heated by wood stoves as evidenced by flue covers, except for the bedroom on the north side of the house which had no means of heating. The closet in this bedroom also houses the A/C HAVC unit for upstairs.
MAID'S ROOM: This room is the only upstairs room that is located on the west (back) side of the house, next to the upstairs bathroom, and is accessible by a narrow steep stairway that goes down to the kitchen. It was used by family members as a sleeping and later a storage room. An original roped brass light rod hangs from the ceiling with a single lightbulb at the end and has been rewired.
ORIGINAL BATHROOM: This is in the passage between the main house and maid's room at the west end of the hallway. Prior to the installation of running water, a pipe and hand pump were located next to a copper bathtub, to pump water from the cistern into the tub. The small pipe hole, located under the window on the north side is still visible. The iron clawfoot bathtub, sink and rare six-pronged handle faucets date back to the installation of running water in the 1920's and have been refurbished, the toilet is new.
STOP GUTTERS, GABLE FINIALS, & CHIMNEYS: Historic photos showed that "stop gutters" were originally on the roof. These were replicated and installed as part of the roofing system, along with copper downspouts. Historic photos also revealed that finials were originally on the south and east roof gables. Measurements were calibrated from the historic photos to provide architectural drawings for replication. During selective demolition of the turret roof, the finial was removed and found to be a one-piece hand-turned log approximately 4 ft. long. The reproduction finials are hand-turned and made of "sinker logs", which are aged, fallen red cypress trees salvaged from the wild.
The brick chimneys were repointed with a special mortar mix and colored to match existing mortar and new flashing was installed at each chimney base.
PORCH CEILING LIGHTS: Porch ceiling light fixtures that matched the original iron mounting on the second story porch light were purchased from Barn Light Electric Co. in Titusville.
SHUTTERS: Fifty-four of the sixty-three exterior handmade cypress shutters are original and have been repaired and reinstalled by NBHF volunteers. The frames are mortised and held together with hand carved wooden pegs. The louvers are made with small pegs notched out on the ends of each louver to hold them in the frame slots. The shutters are hinged to be opened and locked into place, or when closed are secured by a hook and lock system inside the window frame. Nine of the original shutters were deteriorated beyond restoration and were replicated and reinstalled. Shutters are various sizes to fit individual windows and divided into 3 and 2 sections. Most of the shutter hinges and locks are original and some replacements are replicated.
FISH SCALE CYPRESS SHINGLES were hand cut and are approximately 18 inches long and tapered on one end. Most of the original fish scale shingles were left in place or reused and replacements were replicated.
VERGEBOARDS, FINIALS & SCROLLWORK: Original vergeboard scrollwork inserts deteriorated beyond repair and have been removed. Most of the original nine hand-turned vergeboard wood finials were deteriorated or missing. One original finial has been used to replicate replacements. Both vergeboards will be refurbished, the scrollwork replicated, and finials installed.
PRITCHARD HOUSE EXTERIOR PAINT ANALYSIS
Paint colors for the Pritchard House were determined by historic preservation architect Kenneth Smith, FAIA, following a careful investigation that combined the following analyses:
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2005-2009 restoration photos.
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2012 exterior photos.