Conserving A Pennsylvania Treasure, New Hope’s Historic Parry Mansion

The Parry Mansion located in downtown New Hope Pennsylvania is one the finest relics of the river town’s historic past. Benjamin Parry, founder of New Hope, spent three years constructing his 11 room home from Bucks County fieldstone. Recently, the Technical Install Team of LimeWorks.us , (deGruchy Masonry Restoration), used a conservator’s approach to preserve the building’s historic masonry fabric.

They removed and disposed of all Portland cement repairs carried out over the last 200 years. They then removed only the original lime mortar that was broken and ready to fall out. They saved it and reconstituted all retained aggregates back into a new replacement lime mortar. The team put the salvaged aggregates back into the replacement mortar which consisted of Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) and more of a similar gradation of commercially available sands.

They did this to maintain the authenticity of the building which had over 60 % of its original 1794 lime mortar still intact. The 60% of historic lime mortar that remained was not in need of being disturbed since this old lime mortar was still in great shape and ready to deliver another 100 years of service without any intervention other than to leave it alone. By folding back into the building the reclaimed, and hard to acquire, aggregates they accomplished a conservation effort second to none. This made the stewards of this museum house very happy.

On a green note, it also happens that the reduced amount of building material waste and the need for larger amounts of new material and energy was not required. The custom Ecologic™ Mortar mix that LimeWorks.us finally created after a dozen samples with various hue changes was initially made to match the remaining original lime mortar was completed in May 2012.

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