A pivotal figure in the early history of America’s preservation and restoration movements, Thomas Tileston Waterman combined the talents of draftsman, architect, field researcher, historian, author, and advisor. Entering the office of Boston-based Gothic revivalist Ralph Adams Cram while still a teenager, he was quick to accept a position with the restoration team at Williamsburg when architectural firm Perry, Shaw and Hepburn extended the invitation in 1928. His reports, including those on the Wren Building, Governors Palace, and Raleigh Tavern, created the rationale for the restoration/reconstruction of these pivotal Colonial Williamsburg landmarks. The Williamsburg experience inspired a life-long devotion to Virginia architecture, culminating in the publication The Mansions of Virginia: 1706-1776, while the often perilous state of buildings encountered in the field fostered Waterman’s decade long association with the Historic American Buildings Survey. Tom Savage, director of Museum Affairs, discusses Thomas Waterman who became Winterthur’s primary architect, responsible for the installation of countless rooms utilizing historic woodwork. Waterman’s last domestic commission would be the Neo Regency villa into which the du Pont’s moved when Winterthur became a museum in 1951, the year of Thomas Waterman’s untimely death from cancer at age 50.
March 14, 2017
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52)
Wilmington, Delaware, United States
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