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September 8, 2003


CAHOKIA, IL – The ongoing restoration of Illinois’ oldest brick building, and the behind-the-scenes detective work that has gone into the project, will be featured at the Autumn Open House scheduled for Saturday, September 20 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Nicholas Jarrot Mansion State Historic Site in Cahokia.

            The open house provides a rare opportunity for the public to view this 1810 structure, and offers unique insights into the original paint schemes that are being carefully duplicated in the house.

            Visitors will view the remarkable historic “faux marble” paint found on the Ballroom mantelpiece and polished oak and curly maple trim molding in the Mansion’s interior.  Architectural and cultural artifacts from the Jarrot Mansion will be on special exhibit.  Architectural elements will include shutters, a porch column and capital, bricks, door and window hardware, and trim molding.  Many cultural artifacts were discovered during the Mansion’s restoration including four horse skulls, buttons, curtain ties, tooth picks, kitchen utensils, marbles, and a variety of other materials.  An assortment of these cultural artifacts will be on display September 20.   

            The restoration phase nearing completion at the Jarrot Mansion includes mechanical and electrical work, climate controls, handicapped accessibility, and structural enhancements to handle the anticipated visitor traffic once the project is complete.  All interior spaces have received fresh plaster with paint schemes and faux

finishes replicated based upon five years of extensive historic research.  All work has been performed by craftsmen familiar with 18th and 19th century methods of masonry construction and details of interior woodworking and finishes. 

            The final phase of work is soon to come and will include the reproduction of the Mansion’s interior wallpaper scheme and the restoration of the basement cooking area.

            The Jarrot Mansion Project, a not-for-profit advocacy group for the historic house, worked with State Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr. to secure renovation funds for the Jarrot Mansion from the Illinois General Assembly.

            Known to be Illinois’ oldest brick building, the Jarrot Mansion State Historic Site was completed in 1810 for Nicholas Jarrot, who fled the French Revolution and became a successful businessman in territorial Cahokia.  The Mansion, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open only on special occasions during the year.  It is located at the intersection of Highway 157 and Route 3 in Cahokia.  Call (618) 332-1782 for more information.


Illinois Historic Preservation Agency


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