HISTORY – page 3
Scott took time off to write two carpentry-related books in the ‘90s for the Taunton Press. The first, Landscaping with Wood, focused on one of Scott’s life-long passions - wooden garden structures. The book’s success has prompted a recent revision titled Building Outdoor Structures, which includes a new chapter on gazebos. Scott’s second book, Build Like A Pro: Windows and Doors, was commissioned by Taunton for the launch of it’s Build Like A Pro series. The series was designed to provide homeowners with professional-level information in a readily accessible format.
One of the highpoints of Scott’s years in Sperryville was a two-year building campaign at Buckeye Farm, the home of Bev Jones and Andy Alexander. The couple’s goal was to supplement a diminutive Victorian farmhouse with enough room for an active retirement, including spaces for hobbies, entertainment, and their extensive library. Architect John Van Ness handled the assignment with great sensitivity, avoiding any disservice to the original structure. The project also called for an abundance of stone masonry which was handily dispatched by John Jenkins and his crew (below). The clients proved to be as patient as they were adventurous throughout the rigors of the project. When the heat went off one winter’s night Bev huddled with her dogs to stay warm. I received a casual phone call about it the next day.
An exciting break came in 2004 when Scott and his crew were asked to complete the restoration of a former-slave’s cabin on the grounds of Montpelier, the home of President James Madison and his First Lady Dolly. After successfully completing that project Scott returned the following spring to begin restoration of the Madison Mansion, which had just undergone removal of the large additions built by the DuPont family.
The scope and prestige of the Montpelier project afforded an opportunity to attract passionate craftspeople from throughout the country. Several of these recruits are alumni of The North Bennet Street School in Boston, the country’s preeminent institution for craft education. Mustard Seed’s accomplishments to date at Montpelier include reframing and sheathing the main roof, rebuilding the exterior cornices, and timber-framing the portico deck. At present work is underway on interior trim. Completion of the Montpelier restoration is scheduled for the autumn of 2008.
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