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Building Conservation Associates

NCA Battleground Cemetery

Location: Washington, D.C.
Year Built: 1864

Battleground National Cemetery was established in 1864 just after the battle of Fort Stevens, and is located just north of the fort in Washington DC. The cemetery is surrounded by a stone retaining wall, originally constructed in 1872, and features a central memorial that honors those that died at the battle of Fort Stevens. The cemetery’s stone wall has been altered several times throughout its history, mostly due to perimeter road changes and regrading. 

BCA was retained to perform analysis of the historic mortars of the perimeter stone wall and develop cleaning recommendations. BCA compared altered and non-altered parts of the wall and removed several samples that were believed to be historic mortar for laboratory analysis. BCA also performed several in situ cleaning tests to identify the most effective methods of removing various types of soiling from the stone, general soiling, biological growth, and calcite build-up. The in situ cleaning tests allowed BCA to make recommendations for methods and materials to adequately clean the stone. Using the results of the mortar analysis, BCA made recommendations for visually and materially appropriate repointing mortars.