Railings:

As part of ARB approval of the elevator project, architect Bill Laubscher committed that we would maintain the look of the current railing and baluster system. To that end, design ideas were discussed with Bill, who suggested that the Sweeney crew create a mockup.  

The mockup for the 1st floor adds some height and decorative elements at the bottom rail and extends the square portion of the baluster to achieve the needed 36” height. It also provides the required 4” spacing between the balusters. This design mockup was approved by the Institution.   

The mockup for the 2nd and 3rd floors is required to be 42” high. To achieve this, the same bottom rail and square extension as the 1st floor will be used, but the turned portion of the baluster will be extended to achieve the 42” height. This design mockup was also approved by the Institution.  

These approved designs require the manufacture of new balusters. In addition, because of dry rot, new railings will also be required. Except for a few columns, which require repair, the other columns are sound, but will require repair of the areas where the old railings were attached. Finally, the entire system will require painting, including the 2nd and 3rd porch floors. The 1st floor porch requires sealing with Duradek waterproof vinyl decking membrane to prevent theissue of leaking from the porch into dining room. Installation is planned for March.  

The old railings have been removed. Temporary 2x4 railings have been installed. Repair of columns has begun. New replacement turned balusters and milled railings for all floors have been delivered. Railings are being precut and dry fit before painting. Railings and balusters will be assembled in sections, painted, and then attached to columns. Painting of the assembled sections by volunteers is scheduled for February. Painting of the columns and 2nd and 3rd floor porches by volunteers is scheduled for spring.

Next step: Dry fit railings, assemble with balusters, paint assembled units.