The Ames-Webster Mansion, on Dartmouth Street in Boston’s Back Bay, will soon be renovated. A press release forwarded to me by John Margolis, president of the New England chapter (on whose board I sit) of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, describes the upcoming work by Hamady Architects as a “large-scale renovation,” which would normally have the hairs on the back of my neck standing at full attention.
However, since Hamady is partnering with the chapter to offer a two-day course, March 7 and 8, on the mansion’s history and on its upcoming renovation, my fears are assuaged. Hamady may be, I can only trust, relied upon to pay utmost respect in its renovation to the mansion’s extraordinary artistic resources. First of all, it was originally designed in 1871 by the firm of Peabody & Stearns. Later, carving and murals by Beaux-Arts painter Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant and a glass skylight by John LaFarge were installed.
The course, which costs $260 for the public and $210 for ICAA members, will thoroughly consider the house, its craftsmanship and its prospects under the guidance of Hamady Architects. The firm’s head, Kahlil Hamady, who is on the national board of the ICAA, will participate. The first day will consist of historical and preservation lectures and a major craft demonstration; the second day will consist of drawing, guided by instructors, of the building’s exterior, interior and details.
Reservations are first come, first served. The course location is at the mansion itself, 306 Dartmouth St., where lunch will be provided for the two days, Friday, March 7 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The course is worth 15 continuing-education credits. Please find more information and register here.