Exterior Restoration and Master Plan
The Trust retained MCWB to restore the other elevations of the house in 2007. This work included the removal of later period additions, the reinstatement of missing original windows (precisely copying the original windows surviving on the house), reconstructing portions of the brick walls and reinstating the rear door and sidelights. The later period additions were carefully disassembled and several Latrobe period architectural elements were found and salvaged. Paint was removed from the exterior masonry walls and historic brick matching the original was used for infill repairs. Damaged bricks were carefully turned revealing the undamaged face to the exterior. Brick flat arches were restored and replicated at window and door heads. Millwork drawings were produced for window and door frames; from which window sashes and doors which precisely replicated the originals surviving in the house were constructed. Work included the fabrication of period appropriate window and door hardware. Phase II of the exterior restoration was completed in early 2009.
MCWB was also retained to write the nomination for National Historic Landmark status for the house. This effort has motivated MCWB to investigate the interior to determine the amount of surviving original architectural features known and how closely the house was built in accordance with Latrobe’s drawings. It is being discovered that most of the architectural features survive and Asa Wilgus faithfully built Pope Villa as Latrobe had designed, although with many vernacular details.
Phase III of the exterior restoration will involve the complete restoration of the wood shingle roof, dome, roof balustrade, skylight, brick chimneys and cornice. The masonry walls on the interior, where missing or damaged, will also be restored. The Blue Grass Trust is currently in the process of funding this phase.