The John Carter Brown Library substantially expanded its functional space by opening a residence for its research fellows at 79 Charlesfield Street, less than four blocks from the Library. This three-story Victorian house, built in 1869, includes large meeting areas on the ground floor and serves as an intellectual and social center for the Library’s scholars in residence from month to month. This Victorian era building was severely deteriorated and required extensive repair and replacement of exterior finish materials.
Work included complete replacement of all exterior clapboards and much of the trim, replication and replacement of many of the decorative Victorian details, and replacement of decorative rail sections. Several windows required rebuilding due to inappropriate previous construction techniques. The entire house was repainted using a three-color system appropriate to the Victorian era. The entire roof was replaced, including a rubber flat roof at the top of the building and a complete slate replacement at the mansard. The wide gutter at the bottom of the mansard was rebuilt with new lead-coated copper liner at the entire perimeter of the building. Over the decorative dormer at the front of the building, slate was replaced with standing seam lead-coated copper for ease of maintenance. All the flat roofs were replaced. The entire stucco finish on the exterior of the brownstone foundation was repaired or replaced and the entire area re-coated. New storm windows were installed. All the windows were restored to working order. The exterior rear entrance was rebuilt due to water damage. The exterior rear porches were re-framed and new decking installed.