Old Senate Chamber Assessment Of Plaster Failure
Annapolis, MD: 2008
The Old Senate Chamber in the Maryland State House was the site of George Washington's resignation of his military commission and the ratification of the Treaty of Paris during the period in 1783-4 when Annapolis was the national capitol. Still in partial use, the room has seen a number of alterations until the original design was largely indistinguishable. For some time there had been water damage occurring at several locations on the interior walls with unknown origin. When the conservation team began to explore, they realized the water source was not from the outside, but rather the result of condensation. As they began to remove patching materials and incompatible paints, the weakness of the 1905 plaster became more apparent. The State decided to remove all of the failing plaster and patches and the work was carried out by the conservation team so they could use the opportunity to unearth evidence of the room's earliest appearance. In conjunction with archival searches, the above-ground archaeology carried out in the Old Senate Chamber began to change perceptions about the room's original design.