10-year plan for Menokin

The 10-year plan for Menokin — a home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence — is truly the most unique and engaging preservation project in America today.

That bold statement stems from our approach to every aspect of the project, including how we will conserve the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, interpret the stories of Menokin, and use the 500-acre landscape.

10-year plan for Menokin

The 10-year plan for Menokin — a home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence — is truly the most unique and engaging preservation project in America today.

That bold statement stems from our approach to every aspect of the project, including how we will conserve the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, interpret the stories of Menokin, and use the 500-acre landscape.

10-year plan for Menokin

The 10-year plan for Menokin — a home of a Signer of the Declaration of Independence — is truly the most unique and engaging preservation project in America today.

That bold statement stems from our approach to every aspect of the project, including how we will conserve the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, interpret the stories of Menokin, and use the 500-acre landscape.

UNIQUE

Nearly 250 years removed from the revolutionary ideas of America’s forefathers, we are reclaiming the spirit of visionary thinking that marked the birth of our nation. Our plans are not to reconstruct the home as a vestige of colonial history — not to follow the conventional route and create yet another “house museum.”

Instead, we’re pursuing something never before attempted in historic preservation circles. In particular, we are using structural glass to recreate an abstract memory of an 18th-century house as it once stood while protecting what remains of it today.

This concept is revolutionary. By showcasing the intricate details of the house, our aim is to connect the past to the future in relevant, daring ways.

House cross section

ENGAGING

With the Glass House as the centerpiece, the surrounding grounds also will be transformed in future phases of the plan for Menokin.

Across all phases, innovative programming and educational opportunities will be included to ensure Menokin has something valuable to offer people of all ages and from all walks of life — not just during one-time visits, but over and over again.

Preservation and innovation, history and current events and issues, the building arts and the natural sciences —all will be part of the Menokin experience.

Rendering of dining room
stabilization plan

PHASE I – SAVE THE HOUSE

EXTERIOR WORK IN PHASE I
  • Stabilization and repair of the original standing walls
  • Design and construction of a lightweight steel frame and glass skin that blends with the standing walls and creates a permanent, but flexible and elegant, enclosure
  • Installation of a low-impact outdoor restroom and visitor shelter at the house site (permanent facility to come in Phase II)
interior rendering

INTERIOR WORK IN PHASE I

The majority of the interior work on the house will be completed in Phase II. However, the beginnings of a dynamic visitor experience will be achieved by the end of Phase I.

Aspects will include:

  • Conservation of the intact, remaining interior fabric of the house
  • Public access to the first-floor level and basement
  • Installation of lighting design and some basic utilities (for example, plumbing to support mechanical systems and manage storm water)

“If you were to reconstruct the house, you’d cover up some of the most interesting parts. With glass, we can actually see how an 18th-century building comes together.”

Matt Webster, Architectural Conservator and Manager of Architectural Collections, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Menokin Foundation Advisory Council Member

“If you were to reconstruct the house, you’d cover up some of the most interesting parts. With glass, we can actually see how an 18th-century building comes together.”

Matt Webster, Architectural Conservator and Manager of Architectural Collections, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Menokin Foundation Advisory Council Member

“If you were to reconstruct the house, you’d cover up some of the most interesting parts. With glass, we can actually see how an 18th-century building comes together.”

Matt Webster, Architectural Conservator and Manager of Architectural Collections, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Menokin Foundation Advisory Council Member

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