Reddick Mansion is prepping for exterior renovations that are expected to begin next year.
The Reddick Mansion Association took possession of the building in August 2017 and was expected to complete a $700,000 exterior restoration within six years.
Association President Lorraine McCallister said while passersby may not see exterior work being completed that doesn’t mean work isn’t being done behind the scenes.
The first year has been spent getting specifics as to the scope of the project and hiring the architecture firm of Basalay, Cary & Alstadt to be the architects of record. They’ve also hired Historic Architect Anne Sullivan of the Art Institute of Chicago to ensure the restoration is as historically accurate as possible.
A pre-qualification process was conducted to determine six prospective contractors with experience in the restoration of historic properties that can submit bids. The mansion was built in 1855.
McCallister said currently, intricate details are being sorted out such as what cords to place on the windows to open them up and they've also uncovered old locks from the windows downstairs, which will be replicated and placed on the windows.
The balconies have also been examined and core sampling was conducted to find the best procedure to restore the flooring both for structure and architectural design purposes.
She credits the extensive work of Diane Birtwell and Stephen Meyer in guiding the restoration efforts as well as Nancy Barta, who has spearheaded some grounds projects.
The pergola and shed have been painted as well as the garden gates so that the grounds match the exterior of the building when work is completed.
McCallister said work in October will consist of reviewing the specifications of the project and they hope to bid the project in November with work expected to begin next year.
"It's really beginning to hit us," McCallister said. "This is going to happen. This is going to be a reality."