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Great Room / Solarium Addition, East Central Illinois

The great room/solarium of this historic home was built to the rear of the existing mansion, just off a newly remodeled kitchen, as Phase Three of the Victorian Italianate project.

The main level features a Rumford fireplace, a tile floor, and glass that can be shaded during periods of high sun. Rumford fireplaces were popular in the 1800s, and are regaining popularity for their style and efficiency. The stone mantel was so heavy it took five strong guys and a specially built table to get it installed!

The basement houses the utilities, including a geothermal system, and a reinforced concrete storm shelter. A rubber membrane water barrier was sprayed on the exterior basement walls, and foam insulation applied to it.

While digging for the foundation, bricks from the old cistern were found. Old bricks from various structures around the property were saved, as possible, for reuse. This home was built in 1874, and the brick composition is different from what you might find today. Because historic brick is softer, using incompatible bricks and mortar for repairs will damage a structure. New Prairie staff is trained in proper techniques for working with old brick and we work with masons who are similarly trained.

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