Independence Hall, Court Room and Entrance Hall, Wheeling, WV: Preservation research and restoration of National Historic Landmark decorative paint and finishes

Independence Hall has a rich history, as it has served as a central backdrop to significant state events, from the pro-union conventions in 1861, to being the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. The building served as a Customs House, Post Office, Court House, and is currently a Cultural Museum. John Canning & Co. was selected as the prime specialty trade contractor and conservator for the restoration of the decorative finishes and trompe l’oeil artwork in the 3rd floor Courtroom and Entrance hall. John Canning & Co. investigated the paint finishes to properly color match the original finishes and pattern placement. Canning had little information to work with: only fragments of the original decoration from small sections of plaster ceiling found in the attic, from an illustration published in Harper’s Weekly documentation the 1863 convention, paint exposures, and microscopy analysis.

Location: Wheeling, WV

Built: 1859

Original Architect: Ammi B. Young

Style: Renaissance Revival

 

U.S. National Register of Historic Places, U.S. National Historic Landmark

Planning & Design Services:

  • Historic Investigation and Analysis
  • Scientific & Interpretive Analysis
  • Paint Exposures
  • Color Matching
  • Shop Drawings
  • Findings Report

 

Restoration & Decoration Techniques:

  • Trompe l’oeil
  • Canvas Installation
  • Decorative Painting
  • General Painting