A carpenter friend told me today that he had not come to my house because he had been at someone’s home working since August. He said “the house is really old, built in the 20’s”. I thought “little do you know. What about the First White House, built in the 30’s” (the 1830’s that is!!!).
And that made me think about the restorations (face-lifts as it were) that the Home in which Jefferson Davis lived for a time, has undergone, the first that I know of, coming before the Davises ever came to Montgomery. That was in 1855 when Colonel Winter renovated the two-story Federal frame house to the then fashionable Italianate style. He added the front portico and closed in the rear porch.
The second restoration came in 1921 when the house was skillfully dismantled by thirds, moved, reassembled, restored and presented to the people of the State of Alabama.
Fifty years later it was in need of major repair again. The second floor had been restricted to no more than eight visitors. The work began as a Bicentennial project in April of 1976. On December 10 of that same year the first White House of the Confederacy reopened with elegant fanfare!!!
The next work was begun in 1996 with both federal and state money. This included lead paint removal. The end result was the 1996-97 Restoration! And yet again, in 2007 we had another major overhaul, this time with the heating and air conditioning units. Are you getting tired yet? I think I am!!!