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Calhoun House ( Fort Hill ) - Clemson, South Carolina

        Fort Hill was the residence of John C. Calhoun, Vice-president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.  His son-in-law,  Thomas Clemson, later  left the property to the state of South Carolina for use as the land grant college that became Clemson University. The house started life as a clergymen's residence in 1803. John Calhoun occupied the house from about  1825 to 1850. The structure underwent many alterations in its life. See thumbnails below.

        We were asked to restore all of the window sashes. This involved the removal of eighty sashes from their casings and transport to our shop. Because of settling of the structure, the  unique geometry of each sash had to be maintained throughout restoration so that it could return to its opening. This required identification each sash with its own number and attachment of permanent copper indexing tags and the building of frames for each. All of the paint was removed from the sashes to meet lead abatement  requirements. We developed a survey form that allowed us to indicate the type of work and it's location carried out on each sash. This form also included a glass survey identifying each pane's condition, type and location. A surprising number of panes appeared to be original. The oldest glass was of course hand made and very thin approximately 3/64" thick. All of the glass was  removed, rebedded and glazed back in its original location. Broken glass was replaced with modern glass at the direction of the project architect. Broken wood elements were repaired or replaced according to project specifications. After repair and glazing the exterior of each sash was painted with a coat of alkyd primer. the interior was painted with a coat of alkyd primer and two coats of oil enamel, color specified by Fort Hill's Curator.  Below are several  of thumbnails of both Fort Hill and phases of a sash restoration. Please click on the thumbnails to view larger images.

calhoun early.jpg (69396 bytes) c. 1815

calhoun t clemson.jpg (163169 bytes) c.1880

calhoun now.jpg (92376 bytes)  c.2000


sash before.jpg (109006 bytes) sash rib repair.jpg (62685 bytes) sash after.jpg (69636 bytes)


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Last modified: March 13, 2006