Flagler College wins preservation grant

Brian Thompson reported to Historic City News that Flagler College was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from its Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors.

The seed grant funds will be used for consultant services in conjunction with the conservation of the decorative murals in the College’s Ponce de Leon Hall, the former Hotel Ponce de Leon and a National Historic Landmark.

Murals located in the Rotunda, or lobby, and the Dining Room of the building were created by George Willoughby Maynard who reproduced the Exploration series in the Library of Congress in 1897, a decade after he created them for the Hotel Ponce de Leon.

Italian-born New York artisan Virgilio Tojetti created murals on canvas for the Grand Parlor. Most of his works are in private homes, making the murals in the Hotel Ponce de Leon rare examples of his work available for appreciation by the public.

Detailed photographic documentation of the before, during and after stages of the project will be completed. Full written documentation of the condition, proposed work with products to be used, will be recorded for future reference.

In the meantime, the condition of the ceilings and murals are being monitored to avoid additional damage to the surfaces and underlayment.

Work is proposed to include stabilization of the canvases, consolidation of loose or delaminated plaster, evaluation of sub-surfaces to determine any potential for deforming or stretching the canvases.

“Surfaces will be cleaned, restored, and if necessary, repainted to exactly match existing color, texture and appearance of the original.”

“Without organizations such as Flagler College, communities and towns all across America would have a diminished sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honored to provide a grant to Flagler College which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared heritage.”

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to assist in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors. Individuals and for-profit businesses may apply only if the project for which funding is requested involves a National Historic Landmark. Funds may be used for professional expertise, print and video communications materials, and education programs.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer

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