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Building Conservation Associates

The Woodlands

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year Built: 1770
Original Architect: William Hamilton

BCA was involved with two projects at the Woodlands, a cemetery located in West Philadelphia that dates to the mid-nineteenth century. The site retains two historic buildings, the Hamilton Mansion and stable, both of which date to the time the cemetery site was owned by gentlemen botanist William Hamilton. Built in two campaigns between 1770 and 1789, the mansion features rubble stone wall wings, a stucco central block, a two-story portico and a brick cryptoporticus in front of the mansion that once provided concealed access for servants. 

For the restoration of the cryptoporticus, BCA provided mortar analysis, masonry testing, and salt analysis of the mortar and bricks at the cryptoporticus walls and ceiling to help guide restoration decisions. BCA consulted with the architect and engineer on the project to help develop the treatment recommendations, and provided construction administration support during the construction project, including mock-up and submittal review. Prior to the Hamilton Mansion and stable exterior restoration, BCA provided mortar and finishes analysis to identify the original appearance of the masonry on the buildings using both physical and archival evidence, and made recommendations for mortar and finishes to be used during the exterior restoration. BCA again provided consulting services during construction, reviewing samples and mock-ups of the mortar and repointing.

Awards: Grand Jury Award (Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia)