Constructed in 1860, The David E. Small brownstone first served as the home to the owner of a local railcar manufacturer. David E. Small commissioned frescos, painted by Italian artists Costagini and Scataglia, that are featured in the interior of the home. Today the brownstone is part of Martin Library.
The exterior of the building had been in decline for many years, the result of Inappropriate repairs to the masonry in the 1970s. In the spring and summer of 2017, Martin Library restored the building’s historic façade to its 1860 appearance. The restoration project included masonry repair and replacement, brick repointing, replacement of the wood cornice, metal restoration and replacement of the original double-hung windows. All work was done in compliance with the York Design Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Most of the original detailing on the door and window surrounds, belt course, water table, quoins, and window sills were destroyed. The original decorative profiles on these elements were recreated using 3D scanning and historic photos. Masonry repairs ranged from simple epoxy repairs to replacement of whole stones in-kind. In total, 92 pieces of existing brownstone were restored, correcting years of water damage. The building’s original wood front doors, which feature a unique circular center panel detail, were repaired.
The restoration work reversed years of deterioration and protects the façade from future damage.