What’s Up on the Second Floor?

One of the questions guests frequently ask after touring the first floor of the Neel Reid designed Fuller E. Callaway family home is, “Are you planning to open the second floor of the home and, if so, when should I come back to see it?” We are pleased to let you know that planning for opening the second and third floors of the home is currently underway. Mary Catherine Martin, a preservation architect with Stella Ltd., has been commissioned to assist with the project. The process will take approximately two years, and based on current planning, we anticipate the expanded tours will be available in the second half of 2009.

According to executive director, Carleton Wood, “The process of opening the second and third floors is more involved than most people would think. In addition to doing some decorative work in the bedrooms, we are carefully evaluating the heating, cooling and electrical systems in the house and will make any necessary upgrades.”

Many people forget that the house just turned 91 years-old. The first radiator heating system was installed in 1916 and the first air-conditioning was added in 1937. Since that time the heating and cooling systems have been upgraded several times but the present systems are nearing the end of their life expectancy. According to Wood, “With the planned opening of the second floor, this seemed like the ideal time to evaluate the mechanical systems. As part of this process we will also work to better control humidity in the home.”

When the project is complete visitors will be able to tour the entire second and third floors including the Billiard Room. Tour Coordinator Suellen Dolan is looking forward to the expanded tours. “We are excited about sharing the rest of the home with visitors. Guests are interested in learning more about the family members who lived in the house. The second floor tour will enable us to tell a more personal story and better interpret the architecture of the home.”