Philip Johnson Guest House door restoration

Following my simple repair to an interior door at Philip Johnson’s Glass House Compound I returned to restore the original Guest House exterior door. Also known as the Brick House this landmark was built oblique to the Glass House. Ground was broken for the two structures at the same time in March of 1948 and the Guest House was completed a few months prior to the Glass House in December of the same year.

I will let this gallery do most of the talking but point out that during my repair on this door I discovered something I have never seen before. As I moved a plane across the the bottom portion of the door, there revealed between the layers of old lamination, glue and solid pine was newsprint! Yes, in a millimeter of thickness were several newspaper articles. Wiping some liquid on the grain highlights some of the print in one of my photos. See if you can read something there. (Inspection of the high-res pics reveals legible print.)
Often times, during renovations, a carpenter will come across a variety of tidbits from the past. While my first scraping of this door revealed the many colors it has been painted throughout it’s time, it was in the middle of solid material that I found written text. Quite bizarre!

On a personal note, I point out the picture of the temporary door. Having completely remodeled my own home, originally built here in New Canaan in 1928, I saved my interior doors. Little did I foresee hanging one of my old doors on Philip Johnson’s famous Guest House at the Glass House Compound while I worked there for a few weeks in January and February of 2006.

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