+ 2010 PRESERVATION VIRGINIA'S PRESERVATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR
StudioAmmons managed a multi-disciplinary design team on the restoration of the Colonial-era plantation house at Mount Pleasant. The period of interpretation was set around 1800, to make the best use of the surviving historic material. The project consisted of a comprehensive restoration and reconstruction of the entire house, in which the most historically appropriate techniques were used for every detail from hinges to moldings. All outbuildings and gardens are being restored in conjunction with the construction of new stables, garages, dock, guesthouses, and infrastructure. StudioAmmons oversaw management of the design, construction, historical research, and archaeology.
“The most extensive private restoration project ever undertaken in the Commonwealth of Virginia”
—Elizabeth Kostelney, Executive Director, Preservation Virginia
The entire house structure was underpinned to add four feet to the height of the basement. This work had to be performed without allowing any further damage to the historic exterior walls prior to new systems going into the building.
The existing cistern was determined to be one of the only known surviving colonial era cisterns and therefore needed to be preserved. Since it was located where the wall of the new wing was to be built, it was preserved in the basement as part of the wine cellar. A bulkhead entrance on the exterior keeps the character of the historic addition without calling attention to the specialized structure and supports necessary to preserve the cistern in its original location.