Historic Renovation: Treasures & Trials from Meredith House, c. 1890s

Our latest historic renovation project is taking Loveless Porter through the full spectrum of treasures and trials that can come with updating older buildings. Click here to view the process so far, including clips from demolition day.

Known as Meredith House, this turn-of-the-century Tudor mansion had fallen into disrepair — and a few unflattering attempts at modernization — over the decades. Once we started work, the plan for a simple exterior remodel and interior updates quickly became more involved. Removing the vinyl siding revealed hand-toothed, simulated brick siding from the 1890s (treasure!) along with structural issues (trial!) that we will need to address in the design and engineering process. Why would a floor be laid directly on the ground with no foundation? One never knows. However, after years of experience with historic properties, we do know to allow for contingencies in budgeting and design, giving our clients the flexibility to pivot as needed to keep the project moving.

In this case, our preparation included a successful application for a Facade Improvement Grant from the City of Manassas, which will match a percentage of the documented costs of restoring this historic building to better-than-new conditions, so that Meredith House can again contribute to the city’s vitality: This time, as a speakeasy. The final drawings will keep as many of the original design and structural elements as possible, and will integrate materials and artifacts which we salvaged along the way, some dating back to 1890. Follow us on Facebook, using the #meredithhousenova hashtag, for more “project peeks” once we are through the design and permitting process. We are excited to show you what comes next!