Over the years Gaston & Wyatt has been entrusted with the restoration of some of the most iconic structures in the United States – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and his very personal retreat, Poplar Forest; The Old Senate Chamber at The Maryland State House; James Madison’s Montpelier; The Lawn at The University of Virginia; The Octagon in Washington DC; and many National Historic Register private residences. Our expertise is sought out not only because of our familiarity with historical projects but also because of the unparalleled abilities of our craftsmen.
Please explore the galleries below which give you a small sample of our work. Click to expand galleries.
Our expertise has been sought out for some of the most iconic historical buildings in the country . . .
Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, is one of the most treasured architectural sites in the United States and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun in 1768, Jefferson's work on Monticello continued until his death in 1826. In close partnership with The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Gaston & Wyatt has had the privilege of assisting with important restorative work at Monticello for many years. We also played an important role in the recently completed Monticello Visitors Center.
The Mount, located in Lenox, Massachusetts, is the home of noted American author Edith Wharton, who designed the house and its grounds and considered it her "first real home." Gaston & Wyatt was commissioned to replicate an iconic garden structure which remains a centerpiece of the estate's expansive gardens.
Thomas Jefferson built Poplar Forest as a place to escape the hordes of visitors at Monticello and seek the "solitude of a hermit." Although lesser known than Jefferson's other architectural triumphs, the octagonal Poplar Forest was referred to by Jefferson as "the most valuable of my possessions." Gaston & Wyatt played a pivotal role in restoration of the exterior of Poplar Forest, including the structures balustrade, doors, windows and exterior millwork. Interior restoration of Poplar Forest is pending.
When the Continental Congress convened in Annapolis in 1783, it met in the Old Senate Chamber. It was here that General George Washington, on December 23, 1783, came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief and then left immediately to return to private life at Mount Vernon. Under the guidance of Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects, a complete restoration of this important chamber is nearing completion and Gaston & Wyatt is pleased to have played an important role in the return of this historical room to its original state. The State of Maryland has developed a fascinating blog which has documented the painstaking restoration work.
Designed by William Thornton, the first architect of the United States Capitol, the Octagon was built between 1799 and 1801 in Washington, D.C. Colonel John Tayloe III, for whom the house was built, was reputed to be the richest Virginia plantation owner of his time and built the house in Washington at the suggestion of George Washington. The Octagon achieves a zenith in Federal architecture in the United States, through a plan which combines a circle, two rectangles, and a triangle, and through the elegance and restraint of the interior and exterior decoration. Gaston & Wyatt provided the exterior balustrade which crowns this notable Washington landmark.
Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819 and considered the University to be one of his greatest achievements. Undertaking the project toward the end of his life, Jefferson planned the curriculum, recruited the first faculty, and designed the Academical Village, a terraced green space surrounded by residential and academic buildings, gardens, and the majestic center-point—the Rotunda. The university, together with Jefferson's home at Monticello, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only three modern man-made sites so listed in the U.S. with the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall. Gaston & Wyatt is pleased to have partnered with the University for many years on important restorative work throughout Jefferson's as well as later additions to the Grounds by prominent 19th century architects.
Montpelier, located near Orange, Virginia, was the plantation estate of James Madison, fourth President of the United States. An extensive restoration project was completed in 2008 during which Montpelier was returned to its 1820 appearance: additions made to the house by the duPont family were demolished, the stucco exterior was removed to reveal the original brick and the house's interior was reconstructed. Gaston & Wyatt supplied much of the trim used in the restoration of this important site, woking closely with Gaston & Wyatt founder Blaise Gaston and architects Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker.
Rose Hill, a National Register private estate in the Rappahannock, Valley in Virginia, was recently meticulously restored to its former glory by the team of Rieley & Associates and Tidewater Preservation. Begun in the mid-1700s, the house had fallen into disrepair and required extensive structural and cosmetic work and was featured in the June 2013 issue of Architectural Digest. Gaston & Wyatt supplied millwork throughout the project. Recently, Gaston & Wyatt was commissioned to help create a "Dovecote" for the property, a fascinating garden folly based on an original Jeffersonian design. The background of this project was recently featured in Garden & Gun magazine.