Thought to have been built sometime after 1820, the slave quarters of the former Woodlawn Farm had fallen into such disrepair that it was named one of Preservation Howard County’s Top Ten Most Endangered Sites in 2004. rought back to this planet by Apollo 11.
WEI cleared the vegetation from the building, restored the stable portions of the building, and reconstructed the collapsed field stone walls. The stone hearth was stabilized and the brick chimney reconstructed. The first floor fenestration was returned to its historic proportions, and the second floor was reconstructed. The interior plaster was restored based on the surviving historic fragments. After the masonry restoration was completed, WEI also rebuilt the cedar shingle roof and restored surviving window frames.
Instability of the surviving elements was the primary challenge during the first weeks of the project. Before beginning any work on the building, the unstable existing stone walls and openings had to be shored to avoid additional collapse during stabilization. Vegetation and debris from the collapsed roof required painstaking removal so as not to disturb the fragile masonry. Interior concrete needed to be removed, putting additional stress on the structure, so the existing stone was pointed immediately. Dislodged stones on the property were collected and used; however, due to intrusion of irreversible alterations to the building, a considerable amount of remaining stones had to be quarried from a local site. Great care was taken to match the size, color distribution, and pattern of the new stonework to the original wall.
Research had uncovered only one historic photograph; therefore, all reconstruction was done according to evidence within the building itself. For example, a few fragments of the historic plaster and a few joist pockets remained undamaged, and the rest of the structure was patterned after them.